‘Q’ ministries going nowhere, Gilani assures Chaudhrys

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Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Friday assured the Chaudhrys that he would use his influence to see that the ministries allotted to the PML-Q were not devolved under the devolution process, at least for a year-and-a-half. Gilani gave the assurance in a meeting with PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Senior Minister for Defence Production and Industries Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi. A source in the PML-Q told Pakistan Today that the Chaudhrys expressed their concern over the possible devolution of the ministries of Labour and Manpower, Health and Minorities Affairs, saying the devolution of the ministries by June 30, 2011 would embarrass the PML-Q ministers.
“The Chaudhrys told Gilani that the chairman of the Implementation Commission, Mian Raza Rabbani, was hell-bent to devolve the ministries with the PML-Q, and asked Gilani to either influence him or remove him from the chairmanship of the commission,” the source said. However, Gilani assured the PML-Q leadership that ministries whose portfolios had been given to the Q-League would not be devolved for a year-and-a-half. “Gilani also promised to the Chaudhrys that he would direct the Finance Division to allocate funds for the said ministries in the budget 2011-12 and not place them in the category of ministries to be devolved,” the source added.
The Finance Division has so far not allocated funds for the PML-Q ministries in draft budget 2011-12. PML-Q’s Riaz Hussain Pirzada currently holds the portfolio of the Health Ministry, Shahjahan Yousaf is his minister of state, while Wajahat Hussain is the minister for Labour and Manpower and has Sheikh Waqas Akram as his minister of state. A PML-Q minorities’ MNA is the minister of state for Minorities Affairs. The source said the Chaudhrys also informed the prime minister about Ameer Muqam’s resignation, requesting him to change his portfolio as he was not ready to work in the Ministry of Production.
“The PML-Q leaders also demanded a ministerial berth for party’s Balochistan president Jam Muhammad Yousaf.
Prime Minister Gilani promised that Yousaf would be inducted in the federal cabinet soon,” the source said. He said the PML-Q leadership also expressed concern over the Likeminded group’s support for PML-N’s Ishaq Dar for the slot of opposition leader in the Senate. “They asked the prime minister to exercise his influence with the Senate chairman and not let the Likeminded group support Dar by threatening them with Article 63-A. Shujaat told Gilani that he had already written a letter to the Senate chairman Senate over this issue,” the source added. According to press release issued by the PM’s office, Gilani said collective wisdom and approach was the need of the hour to confront the challenges facing the nation, particularly terrorism. The government was determined to overcome the problems in order to ensure political and economic stability, Gilani added.