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October 12, 2015

KP to have three senior ministers after QWP rejoins PTI govt


October 12, 2015


PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will have three senior ministers once the Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) rejoins and formally becomes part of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government.
The QWP will once again clinch important portfolios in the 15-member cabinet.
The induction of another senior minister will also raise the issue as to who will be the senior most of the three as the QWP has more lawmakers in the 124-member Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly than the Jamaat-e-Islami and Awami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan (AJIP), which are already part of the provincial government as junior partners of the PTI.
The oath-taking ceremony of QWP ministers was scheduled to take placeon Monday, but was postponed due to the illness of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan, who is reportedly under treatment at a hospital in Islamabad.
Under the agreement between the PTI and QWP, the latter’s parliamentary party leader Sikandar Hayat Sherpao will again be made the senior minister. He will run the Home and Tribal Affairs, Irrigation, Power and Energy departments.
QWP lawmaker Aneesa Zeb Tahirkheli, who in the past served as minister of state and member of the Senate, will be given the portfolio of Mines and Mineral department, Labour and Manpower and Technical Education.
The Jamaat-e-Islami, which has six MPAs in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, has three ministers, including senior minister Inayatullah Khan who is minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Finance Minister Muzaffar Said and Ushr and Zakat Minister Habibur Rahman.
AJIP’s Shahram Khan Tarakai is also a senior minister and leads the Health Ministry. The AJIP has five lawmakers in the provincial assembly.
Liaqat Khan Tarakai, father of Shahram Tarakai, was elected to the Senate on the PTI ticket.
When contacted, QWP’s Aneesa Zeb Tahirkheli said there were no special incentives for the senior minister as it was a ceremonial office for the parliamentary leader of the

ruling coalition partners that was also practiced by the previous government.
“There is no question of seniority or superiority in the cabinet,” she added.
However, a political analyst said that it was a kind of political bribery, putting extra burden on the public exchequer with more protocol and luxury vehicles.
“Instead of discouraging the ‘VIP culture’ the present government enlarged the cabinet with three senior ministers, advisors and special assistants to the chief minister,” he added.
JI head Sirajul Haq was senior minister in the six-party alliance of religio-political parties, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal government that came into power after winning the 2002 general election.
Late Bashir Ahmad Bilour of Awami National Party and Rahimdad Khan of Pakistan People’s Party were inducted as senior ministers when ANP and PPP formed coalition government after winning the 2008 general election.
The PTI-led government continued the practice and appointed two senior ministers, Sirajul Haq and Sikandar Sherpao.
Swabi’s Shahram Tarakai was inducted as senior minister when QWP parted ways with the PTI-led government after two of its ministers were sacked on the charges of corruption in 2014.
It may be mentioned that under the18th amendment to the constitution, the cabinet in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in keeping with the number of lawmakers in the assembly cannot exceed 15, including the chief minister. This is the reason the PTI was considering dropping one of its ministers from Hazara and make him an advisor to make room for the QWP in the cabinet.




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