Federal cabinet extension, reshuffle on the cards

  • Government decides to induct six new ministries
  • Additional portfolios with sitting ministers to be taken back

The federal government has decided to extend and reshuffle the cabinet with induction of six new ministries. However, detail of the ministries to be introduced has not been confirmed.

According to official sources, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has completed consultation with his close aides and senior leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) about the reshuffle and extension in the federal cabinet.

The PM has decided to assign a single ministry to an individual since many sitting ministers are holding more than one portfolio which has not only affected the performance of the ministries but also drawn public criticism.

The sources further said that names of senior politician Daniyal Aziz, Muhammad Talal Chaudhry, Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari and Marriyam Aurangzeb were being considered for some ministries, while the Ministry of Environment, which fell vacant after the resignation of Mushahidullah Khan, would also be filled.

The ruling PML-N’s allies, including Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, Pakistan Muslim League-Functional and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party are also likely to be accommodated as reward for their support during the recently-led election to the slot of National Assembly speaker.

According to the sources, Prime Minister Sharif is also considering to award a ministry to Chaudhry Saud Majeed who is currently serving as the focal person for the MNAs belonging to Southern Punjab. Majeed played a leading role along with Hamza Shahbaz for success of the PML-N in the first phase of the Local Bodies (LB) elections. His services for success of the party in four divisions, Sahiwal, Multan, Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan, are highly obliged by the party leadership.

Currently, the federal cabinet comprises of 18 ministers, nine ministers of the state, three advisors to PM, six special assistants and 20 parliamentary secretaries.

At present, Minister for Information Pervaiz Rasheed is holding the additional charge of the Law Ministry, but now it is likely that the portfolio is assigned to someone else.

The sources further said that the additional charge of Defence Ministry from Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif might also be taken back.