LAHORE: After the 21-member cabinet of Punjab Chief Minister Pervez Elahi took the oath at the Governor's House on Saturday, some interesting facts emerged about the new decision-making body.
Some of the ministers in the new cabinet are close relatives, while others got their preferred ministries.
Several senior ministers have been given petty ministries instead of important ones. Of the ministers that won the by-election, only two made it to the cabinet.
Lahore has the highest representation in the cabinet. Four ministers from Lahore have been included in the cabinet and two each from Kasur, Khanewal, Rajanpur, and Faisalabad.
Minister for Transport Muneeb Sultan Cheema from Sargodha and Minister for Excise, Taxation, and Narcotics Control Sadar Muhammad Asif Nakai from Kasur are close relatives.
Among ministers who got preferred ministries are Ali Afzal Sahi, Khurram Shahzad Virk and Nawabzada Mansoor Ahmed Khan, who got the Communication and Works, Law and Parliamentary Affairs, and Revenue ministries, respectively. Sahi, notably, got the ministry held at one point by his father.
Nawabzada Mansoor Ahmed Khan, son of Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan who is dubbed as the father of democracy, has been given the coveted Revenue ministry after 27 years. He was the Minister for Revenue last in Mian Manzoor Wattu's cabinet.
Retired Colonel Muhammad Hashim Dogar earlier held the Ministry of Population Welfare, but this time he has been given the key ministry of Home Affairs and Prisons.
Senior and experienced politician Raja Basharat had the Ministry of Law and Parliamentary Affairs during the Buzdar era, but now he has been given the Ministry of Public Prosecution.
Sardar Hasnain Bahadar Dreshak was earlier Minister for Livestock but this time he has been given the key ministry of Food and Energy.
Muhammad Mohsin Leghari used to ensure the smooth running of rivers and canals under the Ministry of Irrigation but now he has been given the key ministry of Finance.
Fayyazul Hasan Chohan, who was previously the Minister of Information and Prisons, this time has only been entrusted with the responsibility of serving as the spokesperson of the Punjab government.
Senior politicians like Chaudhry Zaheeruddin, Hashim Jawan Bakht, Jahanzeb Khachi, Ashfia Riaz Fatyana, Syed Sumsam Ali Shah Bukhari, Colonel Muhammad Anwar and Malik Akhtar did not get any ministry.
Meanwhile, Mian Aslam Iqbal, Dr Yasmin Rashid, Mian Mehmood ur Rashid, Murad Ras, Ansar Majeed Khan Niazi, Yasir Humayun, Syed Hussain Jahania Gardezi and Taimur Bhatti have been given the same ministries as they held in the Buzdar era.
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