close
Tuesday July 16, 2024

Imran ‘unaware’: Punjab cabinet expanded, PTI MPA takes oath as minister

PTI MPA Khayal Kastro from Faisalabad, took the oath as a minister and became a part of Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi’s team

By Faizan Bangash
December 08, 2022
In this undated photo, Khayal Kastro (Second Left) is photographed along with Shah Mehmood Qureshi  (Left), and Punjab CM Parvez Elahi (second right). Twitter
In this undated photo, Khayal Kastro (Second Left) is photographed along with Shah Mehmood Qureshi  (Left), and Punjab CM Parvez Elahi (second right). Twitter

LAHORE: On the one hand, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) top brass is holding meetings regularly at Zaman Park to decide about the date of dissolving the Punjab Assembly while, on the other hand, an MPA elected on the party ticket took oath as a minister on Wednesday.

Though party Chairman Imran Khan expressed his ignorance later on, the development occurred when Khayal Ahmad Kastro, a PTI MPA from Faisalabad, took the oath as a minister and became a part of Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi’s team.

CM Chaudhry Parvez Elahi attended the swearing-in ceremony of Khayal Kastro at the Governor’s House, wherein Governor Balighur Rehman administered the oath to the new minister. The CM congratulated Kastro and hoped that he would fulfil his responsibilities well. Provincial Minister Raja Basharat, Chief Secretary Abdullah Sumbal, Principal Secretary to CM Muhammad Khan Bhatti, Principal Secretary to Governor Nabil Awan, secretaries and senior officials attended the ceremony.

Later on, a senior PTI leader shared an objection with the party chairman Imran Khan, according to the sources. The party leader, addressing Khan, expressed his displeasure at the development and said that the expansion should not have taken place.

Khan, while responding to his party’s member, said that he was not aware of Kastro becoming a minister. “I thought you were being appointed head of some department,” he said while speaking to the new minister.

The PTI chief told Kastro that while the development was not problematic, his becoming a minister damaged the party’s narrative.

The move came as a surprise for thousands of PTI activists, who are supporting Imran Khan’s stance to dissolve the provincial assemblies. Imran Khan had made an announcement about dissolving the Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa assemblies almost two weeks ago, on Nov 26. However, the induction of the PTI MPA into the Punjab cabinet made it quite clear that the party members were not ready to quit power on an immediate basis.

In the past also, the PTI had shown double standards on the assembly membership. In 2014, while Imran Khan had staged a sit-in and announced not to return to the assemblies, his party was taking part in by-polls regularly. In districts of Nankana, Narowal and Multan, the PTI leaders were seen canvassing for the party candidates.

At the same time, process of legislation is also under way in the assembly and the PA passed five bills, including one related to the salary and privileges of legislators and former CMs.