KP CM announces additions to his cabinet

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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Pervez Khattak issued a notification on Wednesday for 10 advisors and special assistants and raised the strength of his cabinet to 15.

According to the official notification, all 10 persons would enjoy benefits, powers and status equal to provincial ministers. Similarly all these 10 persons have been authorised to look after affairs of various departments and ministries. All these 10 persons, including a female, are also occupying berths in the provincial assembly.

So far the chief minister has announced portfolios of 9 out of 10.

Mian Jamshidud Din, of Nowshehra, is considered amongst a close confidant of the chief minister and he was given the portfolio of excise and taxation. The chief minister also belongs to Nowshehra. Jamshid Ud Din is one of the top of five advisors to the chief minister.

Two MPAs from Peshawar have also been made advisor and special assistant. Advisor to Chief Minister Yaseen Khalil was given the portfolio of physical planning whereas Special Assistant Zia Ullah Afridi was given the portfolio of mineral development. Peshawar was earlier represented by two ministers in the cabinet and now the strength has reached five. Similar number of ministers were from Peshawar in the previous ANP-led coalition government.

Another advisor, Malik Qasam from Karak, was given the portfolio of the prison department whereas Qalandar Lodhi from Abbottabad would be responsible for the affairs of the food department. Both of them have retained berths in provincial assembly as independent candidates but later they joined Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). The portfolio of fifth advisor, Abdul Haq from Kohistan, will be announced later.

Former provincial minister Amjad Afridi, who was made special assistant to chief minister, was given the portfolio of housing. Amjad Afridi was elected as an independent candidate in 2008 elections to the provincial assembly and had later joined ANP and was made minister for housing. He, however, quit ANP before general elections of 2013 and had retained the seat in his personal capacity. After winning polls he had joined PTI and was made special assistant to chief minister for looking after ministry of housing.

Former PML-Q provincial general secretary Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani, who was elected as an independent candidate in 2013 general polls was made in charge for higher education as special assistant to chief minister. Mushtaq Ghani also remained MPA in 2002-2007.  Shakeel Ahmad Khan is from Malakand and will be responsible for the ministry of population welfare as well remaining special assistant to the chief Minister.

Known pediatric specialist Dr Meher Taj Roghani was also made special assistant to chief minister and she will look after affairs of the social welfare department. She had served as minister for health in a caretaker set up in the past. She is counted as an active member of PTI thinktanks.