ISLAMABAD: With Dr Arif Alvi’s swearing-in as the President of Pakistan, Sindh and Balochistan have attained two of the top four offices in the federal government, leaving one each for Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
Both the president and the deputy chairman of the Senate, Salim Mandviwala, belong to Sindh, while Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and the deputy speaker of the National Assembly, Qasim Suri, hail from Balochistan. Prime Minister Imran Khan is domiciled in Punjab, while National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar is from KP.
There is no constitutional apportionment of these senior berths among the provinces, but due representation is conventionally given to the federating units to ensure their participation in top decision making.
With Alvi sworn in as the president, all but one top post in the federal structure have gone to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Senate deputy chairman Mandviwala of the Pakistan People's Party is the sole exception.
The assumption of office by President Alvi brings to a close the circle of changes prompted by the July 25 general elections.
In the 28-member federal cabinet, Punjab has the greatest representation with nine ministers, two advisors and a special assistant. Sindh follows with eight members, including six ministers, an advisor and a special assistant. Three ministers, a minister of state, an advisor and a special assistant have been selected from KP. Balochistan has just one minister, Zubaida Jalal.The prime minister has taken his time in forming the cabinet. In the first phase, he inducted a set of federal ministers, advisors and special assistants. He then added a minister of state, Shehryar Afridi. Most recently, he inducted four more ministers: Ali Zaidi, Murad Saeed, Omar Ayub and Muhammadmian Soomro.
With the addition of Omar Ayub and Muhammadmian Soomro, the number of former members of the Pervez Musharraf regime in the PTI-led cabinet has risen to 14.