PPP, PML-N hold consultation on expansion of Punjab cabinet

Over two dozen MPAs likely to take oath next week PPP to get three more ministries

The ruling alliance of Punjab, including the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), is holding consultations over the names of MPAs to be appointed ministers in what is being described as the second phase of induction.

It has been learnt reliably that more than two dozen MPAs will take oath as provincial ministers next week.

The PPP is likely to get three more ministries while two of its lawmakers will be made special assistants to the chief minister.

According to the sources privy to the development, consultations are going on between the two coalition partners and a final announcement will be made next week.

PPP’s Makhdoom Usman Mehmood, Shazia Abid and Mumtaz Chang are likely to be made provincial ministers. Moreover, Ch Manzoor and former MPA and incumbent information secretary of PPP Punjab Shehzad Cheema will be appointed as special assistants.

PML-N’s Manshaullah Butt, Malik Nadeem Kamran, Khawaja Imran Nazir, Mian Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, Zeeshan Rafique, Samiullah Khan, Zakia Shah Nawaz, Azma Bukhari, Khalil Tahir Sandhu, Rana Mashhood, Saiful Malook Khokhar, Ch Shafique, Mehar Ijaz Achlana, Mian Yawar Zaman, and Ch Iqbal Gujjar are likely to be made provincial ministers.  Two independent MPAs – Jugnu Mohsin and Ahmad Ali Aulakh – will also be part of Hamza’s cabinet.

On Monday, an eight-member Punjab cabinet took oath in the first phase hours after PML-N’s loyalist Balighur Rehman took oath as Punjab governor following approval by President Arif Alvi.

In the first phase, Sardar Awais Laghari, Khawaja Salman Rafique, Malik Ahmad Khan, Rana Iqbal and Atta Ullah Tarar from the PML-N and Syed Hassan Murtaza and Ali Haider Gilani from the PPP took oath. An independent MPA, Bilal Asghar Warraich, was also sworn in that day.

Some sources privy to the developments told MinuteMirror that a delegation of PPP returned back from the gate of the Governor’s House on Monday when it came to know that Hassan Murtaza will not be made a senior minister. Since, the PML-N isn’t in a position to continue its government both in the centre and Punjab without the support of the PPP therefore, the senior leadership of the PML-N intervened in the matter and agreed to appoint Murtaza as senior minister in Punjab.

Now, the next phase of the provincial cabinet will be announced after taking the PPP on board as the PML-N cannot afford to lose its coalition partner both in the centre and Punjab.

The PPP is interested in getting the portfolio of communication and works (C & W).

Malik Ahmad Khan is likely to get the portfolio of law and parliamentary affairs. Similarly, Khwaja Salman Rafique will look after the affairs of the health department.

Sardar Awais Laghari will get the portfolio of local government while Mian Mujtaba Shuja will be made finance minister.

Bilal Yasin will be made food minister while Ch Shafique is likely to get the portfolio of industries.

Former speaker Rana Iqbal will be given the portfolio of irrigation and Khalil Tahir Sandhu is likely to be made minister for minorities and human rights.