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Some names cleared for KP caretaker cabinet

By Mushtaq Yusufzai
January 26, 2023

PESHAWAR: Some of the names proposed by different political parties have been cleared for the caretaker cabinet of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and are likely to take oath of their offices in the next few days, according to official sources.

Governor Ghulam Ali will administer them oath.

Those cleared so far included former additional Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police chief Syed Akhtar Ali Shah, former chief secretary Shakeel Durrani, former advocate general Shumail Butt and Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif.

The Awami National Party had proposed Akhtar Ali Shah while Shakeel Durrani was recommended by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf selected Barrister Saif and Shumail Butt for the caretaker government in the province.

Caretaker Chief Minister Mohammad Azam Khan had taken oath of his office last week on Saturday but could not initiate official work due to lack of cabinet.

Each of the political party had recommended names for the provincial cabinet and they were needed to be cleared by the relevant authorities.

Besides Akhtar Ali Shah, the ANP had proposed former vice chancellor of Bacha Khan University Charsadda Prof Dr Fazl Rahim Marwat and a former vice chancellor of the University of Swabi Prof Dr Noor Jehan for the caretaker government.

Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif served in the previous PTI government as special assistant to chief minister for information and public relations, while Shumail Butt worked as advocate general.

Another major player Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazlur Rahman is still indecisive and could not select own people for the caretaker cabinet.

According to a senior JUIF leader in Peshawar, they had initially chosen some people for the caretaker government but delayed it after sensing that the caretaker government may continue its work beyond three months.

“The circumstances are not favourable for the elections soon and that’s why we held some consultations to pick up the best available people for the cabinet. In case the government prolonged, we would have good representatives there,” he argued.

According to sources, the caretaker chief minister will have a brief cabinet.

“He is likely to have a small cabinet in the first phase and then get some more in the second phase. Once the cabinet size is completed, the chief minister is likely to order a major reshuffle in different departments,” a senior government official told The News.

Pleading anonymity, he said Azam Khan knew well that blue-eyed government officials were recently transferred and posted.

“Like others, the caretaker chief minister is aware of how some civil servants and police officers were facilitated to hold key rewarding positions in the previous PTI government. They were recently transferred and given prized positions in different places,” he said.