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August 29, 2018

Oath-taking of KP ministers delayed for second time


August 29, 2018

PESHAWAR: The oath-taking of provincial ministers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was delayed for the second time Tuesday despite announcement of the cabinet apparently due to resentment among the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers.

The oath-taking of ministers was scheduled to take place on Tuesday at 3pm, but was delayed for the second time. Earlier, the administration of oath was scheduled for Monday. Some of the ministers-designate got information through the media that the oath-taking ceremony has been delayed. This showed the lack of coordination among the relevant people and departments.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the nomination of Chief Minister Mahmood Khan was finalised and announced before other provinces. Two days ago, the provincial cabinet was announced by the PTI central media cell in Islamabad after the prospective ministers were interviewed.

However, the oath-taking got delayed unlike the other provinces where ministers have started working. The oath-taking of federal and other provincial cabinets has already been completed. However, the intra-party differences over choice of ministers and allotment of portfolios is reportedly holding up the oath-taking.

Another hitch could be the delay in the oath-taking of former provincial minister Shah Farman as the new governor of the province. It is said this has been delayed now until September 5. Though in the first phase, 12 ministers and three advisors and special assistants have been selected and four more ministers and some advisors and special assistants would be accommodated in the second phase probably after the by-elections, there are serious reservations over the present arrangements.

According to sources, some of the senior PTI members were annoyed for being ignored in the selection of cabinet. Some districts haven't been given representation in the cabinet. Other ministers want better portfolios.

Shah Muhammad Khan from Bannu has already expressed his reservations as he was not happy over his nomination as advisor to the chief minister's for transport. He held the same position in the previous PTI government and wanted a promotion as a minister this time. He is said to be in Islamabad to plead his case with Banigala.

There were reports that former chief minister Pervez Khattak, who is now the federal defence minister and Akbar Ayub, elected from Haripur, are also annoyed and have reservations over the distribution of cabinet portfolios.

The delay in oath-taking ceremony is mainly because of the difference among the members. However, the PTI leaders are saying that there is no rift in the party. Law Minister-designate Sultan Muhammad Khan, when contacted, told The News he was not aware of any differences in the party about the cabinet.

He pointed out that the cabinet was selected by the party high command after elaborate consultation. Some party members said the oath-taking ceremony was delayed due to Chief Minister Mehmood Khan's absence as he was in Islamabad. However, he reportedly got information through the media that the oath-taking has been delayed.

Sultan Muhammad Khan, who had joined PTI just before the July 25 general election after quitting the Qaumi Watan Party, said he was made the law minister by the party leadership as he was a practicing lawyer. However, he said he was not aware which other portfolio he would be given apart from the Law Department.

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