Hours after Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) interim cabinet was sworn in, Punjab Governor Baligh Ur Rehman Thursday administered oath to eight ministers of the 11-member interim cabinet.
Out of the 11 cabinet members, eight ministers — Bilal Afzal, SM Tanveer, Dr Javed Akram, Ibrahim Murad, Dr Jamal Nasir, Mansoor Qadir, Syed Azfar Ali Nasir and Amir Mir — took the oath, while three others — Wahab Riaz, Tamkinat Karim and Naseem Sadiq — couldn't attend the ceremony.
Although the reason for the other two is unknown, Pakistan's veteran fast bowler Riaz will take over as the largest province's sports minister in due time, he confirmed to Geosuper.tv.
Besides other noted personalities, Punjab’s caretaker Chief Minister Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi was among the attendees of the oathtaking ceremony.
Speaking on the occasion, Naqvi extended felicitation to the newly-appointed caretaker ministers and said that conducting "transparent, free and fair elections is the responsibility of the interim setup".
He also vowed to ensure the peaceful conduct of the elections in the most densely populated province of the country.
Last Sunday, Moshin Naqvi took oath as the caretaker CM amid controversies and disagreements among Punjab’s political stakeholders. His appointment has not been welcomed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), who decided to "take to the streets" against the decision.
PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that Naqvi's appointment as the interim Punjab chief minister will make the polls "controversial" in the province.
The PTI, after the dissolution of the assembly dissolved on January 14, has been asking the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the governor to issue a date for the elections.
The ECP is bound to hold general elections in the province within 90 days, now that the caretaker chief ministers have been appointed for both provinces.
The electoral body can hold polls within 22 to 45 days because constitutionally it requires at least 22 days to scrutinise the nomination papers of the candidates.
Although the caretaker chief minister was appointed after much political turmoil, the then-opposition and then-government in KP had amicably developed a consensus on the name of former bureaucrat Azam Khan — who took oath last week.
KP Governor Haji Ghulam Ali administered oath to 14 ministers of his interim cabinet earlier today amid claims by Imran Khan-led PTI that it "look[ed] like a PDM cabinet".
The ministers who took the oath today include former inspector general (IG) Syed Masood Shah, Barrister Sanwal Nazir, Bakht Nawaz, Fazal Elahi, Adnan Jalil, Shafi Ullah Khan, Shahid Khan Khattak, Haji Ghufran, Khushdil Khan Malik, Taj Muhammad Afridi, Muhammad Ali Shah, and Justice (retd) Irshad Qaiser, Manzoor Khan Afridi, Abdul Haleem Qasuriya, and Hamid Shah.
PTI leader and former provincial finance minister Taimur Jhagra raised objections over the newly-appointed interim cabinet. The PTI leader, in a tweet, said: "Sadly, this looks like a PDM cabinet, barring a couple of names..."
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