Friday December 08, 2023

Imran Khan ‘upset’ over Punjab cabinet's 'secret' expansion

PTI chief "totally unaware" his party leader Khayal Kastro has taken oath as provincial minister

By Web Desk
December 07, 2022
PTI Chairman Irman Khan addresses an event. — Twitter/@PTIofficial/File
PTI Chairman Irman Khan addresses an event. — Twitter/@PTIofficial/File

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday came down hard on his party leaders after he learnt about an expansion in the Punjab cabinet carried out without keeping him in the loop, sources told Geo News.

Khan expressed complete unawareness of the development that his party leader Khayal Kastro had taken oath as a minister in a ceremony overseen by Chief Minister Punjab Parvez Elahi.

A situation to this effect arose after a senior PTI leader lodged a complaint with Imran Khan, raising an objection to Kastro’s induction in the Punjab cabinet, the sources added.

According to the sources, while talking to Khan, the angry senior leader said the expansion should have not taken place.

Khan, in his response, said that he was not aware of Kastro becoming a minister.
“I thought you were being given a department to head,” he said speaking to the new provincial minister, who was also present on the occasion.

According to the sources, the PTI chief told Kastro that while this development was not a big problem but it had damaged the party’s narrative.

Governor Punjab Baligh-ur-Rehman administered the oath.

It should be noted that the province's cabinet expansion — particularly with the appointment of a new minister from the Khan-led party — comes at a time when the PTI is pressurising the Centre to conduct snap polls by no more than the end of March. The party has been threatening the government of dissolving Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies if elections are not held on a date of their choice.

Meanwhile, the federal government has said that there would be no polls until October 2023. CM Elahi, too, earlier said that he did not see elections happening in the next four months.

In an interview with a private news channel, he said: "Elections cannot be held before four months; the federal and provincial governments need time to work and the elections may be delayed even after October next year."