Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s new interim cabinet consisting of 12 members takes oath

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The newly formed interim cabinet of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, consisting of twelve members including nine ministers, two advisers, and a special assistant, officially assumed office on Saturday.

The oath-taking ceremony took place at the Governor’s House and was presided over by Governor Ghulam Ali. In attendance were KP caretaker Chief Minister Mohammad Azam Khan and other dignitaries.

The list of ministers encompasses Syed Masud Shah, Barrister Feroze Jamal Shah Kakakhel, retired Justice Irshad Qaiser, Ahmad Rasool Bangash, Asif Rafiq, Dr. Najeebullah, Dr Mohammad Qasim Jan, retired Justice Arshad Hussain Shah, and Syed Aamir Abdullah. Assumed roles in the cabinet comprise Dr. Riaz Anwar and Dr. Sarfaraz Ali Shah as advisers to the Chief Minister, with Zafarullah Khan taking on the position of special assistant to the Chief Minister.

The swearing-in event followed the governor’s approval of a summary sent by CM Khan regarding the new cabinet appointments.

Notably, the reconfiguration came after 19 members of the previous caretaker cabinet submitted their resignations on August 10, citing alleged political engagement. An additional six members resigned the following day. These resignations were facilitated over a cup of tea as per the Chief Minister’s request.

It is reported that a few cabinet members resisted the CM’s call to resign, asserting their lack of involvement in politics and political gatherings. The exodus of cabinet members followed the resignation of caretaker minister Shahid Khattak on July 24, citing personal commitments after attending a public meeting organized by the Awami National Party. His participation evoked a response from the Election Commission of Pakistan, leading to his resignation.

On July 31, the Election Commission of Pakistan reminded the caretaker CM of Article 218(3) of the Constitution, urging the government to ensure free, fair, transparent, and impartial elections. They advised CM Khan to remove all cabinet members involved in politics. Subsequently, on August 12, Governor Ghulam Ali accepted the resignations of 14 ministers and 11 aides to the CM, including six special assistants and five advisers.

Several members of the newly formed cabinet, including Masud Shah, Mr. Kakakhel, retired Justice Qaiser, and Dr. Anwar, were also part of the previous caretaker cabinet. Notably, retired Justice Qaiser, hailing from the Hazara division, previously served as the chief judge of the Gilgit-Baltistan Supreme Appellate Court and has a background as a deputy attorney general for Pakistan.

Other members like Mohammad Qasim Jan have expertise in education, while Zafarullah has a background in law enforcement. Dr. Najeebullah, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, is associated with various institutions and initiatives focused on energy and development. He is presently engaged with the Planning Commission of Pakistan, overseeing science, technology, information technology, and higher education portfolios.