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April 11, 2017

Lanjar sworn in as minister, gets law portfolio


April 11, 2017

Only female provincial minister Shamim Mumtaz
assigned post of adviser to keep cabinet size at 18

Zia-ul-Hassan Lanjar, a Pakistan People’s Party MPA, was sworn in as a new provincial minister and handed overt the portfolio of the law department on Monday and Shamim Mumtaz, the only female minister in the province, was reduced to post of an adviser to balance the cabinet size.

Lanjar is an MPA from constituency PS-23 Naushahro Feroze-V. He became member of Sindh Assembly in a by-poll held last year. Later, in a notification issued by chief secretary, the new minister was assigned the portfolio of law. Earlier, Murtaza Wahab was provincial law adviser but he had resigned on court orders.

As per the website of Sindh Chief Minister’s House, Lanjar is the 19th provincial minister in the cabinet of Murad Ali Shah. One of the incumbent provincial ministers had to face the axe to keep its size in accordance with the provisions of the 18th Constitutional Amendment.

The 18th Amendment does not allow the cabinet size to exceed over 11 percent of the total membership of the assembly.

Later in the evening, the chief secretary issued two notifications according to which Shamim Mumtaz, the provincial social welfare minister, was assigned the post of the social welfare adviser.

With the inclusion of Lanjar and Mumtaz’s exit, the size of the Sindh cabinet again stands at 18 - the number that meet the requirements of the 18th Amendment.

Mumtaz was the only female minister in the present provincial cabinet and also the only one belonging to Karachi.

Earlier, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah met with Governor Mohammad Zubair at the Governor’s House and discussed the law and order situation, the development projects in the province and other issues of mutual interest.

In February this year, the Sindh government removed from their posts three advisers and eight special assistants to the Sindh chief minister following adverse rulings of the Sindh High Court in a case pertaining to their appointments. 

Prior to that, on January 30, the Sindh chief secretary had already issued a notification to de-notify the appointment of Barrister Murtaza Wahab as the adviser of Sindh CM on Law and Anti-Corruption in order to avoid contempt of court proceedings by the SHC in the case being heard, related to the appointment of Murtaza Wahab and other aides to the provincial chief executive.

Before issuance of the notification by the chief secretary, at least two key provincial government’s advisers and three other special assistants to Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah tendered resignation from their positions in view of the ruling of the high court concerning their appointments.

The resigning advisers of Sindh CM were Moula Bakhsh Chandio, the adviser on Sindh Information Department, and Senator Saeed Ghani, the Labour Adviser of Sindh CM.

The other three resigning special assistants of Sindh CM were Nadir Khuwaja for CM’s Inspection, Enquiries & Implementation Team, Zulfiqar Ali Behan for Special Education and Naveed Anthony for Inter-faith Harmony Affairs.

The notification of the Sindh chief secretary for de-notification of the advisers to the Sindh CM also removed from the post Asghar Ali Junejo, the CM’s Adviser for Mines & Mineral Development.

Other special-assistants de-notified by the provincial govt included Burhan Chandio for Archives Department, Syed Qassim Naveed for Special Initiatives, Umer Rehman Malik for Public Private Partnership Unit of Sindh Finance Department, Engineer Baber Hussain Effendi for Irrigation Department, and Dr Abdul Qayyum Soomro, special assistant to Sindh CM for Religious Affairs, Zakat & Usher Department.

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