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April 14, 2021

Atif Khan among four sworn in as ministers

Peshawar

April 14, 2021

PESHAWAR: Four more Pakistani Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, including former provincial ministers Mohammad Atif Khan and Shakeel Ahmad Khan, took the oath of the cabinet members on Tuesday.

Governor Shah Farman administered oath to them at a ceremony in the Governor’s House. Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, some cabinet members and government officials also attended the ceremony. Apart from Atif Khan and Shakeel Ahmad Khan, two other MPAs, including Fazal Shakoor Khan and Faisal Amin Gandapur were added to the provincial cabinet.

Atif Khan belongs to Mardan and Shakeel Ahmad hails from Daragai in Malakand. Fazal Shakoor Khan and Faisal Amin Gandapur are the two new faces in the cabinet. Both were elected on the PTI ticket. Fazal Shakoor was elected as a member of the provincial assembly from Charsadda district while Faisal Amin Gandapur won election from his native Dera Ismail Khan.

Faisal Amin is younger brother of Federal Minister Ali Amin Gandapur. According to Kamran Bangash and other PTI sources, portfolios to the ministers would be decided later. “It is purely prerogative of the chief minister to decide portfolios for the ministers,” a cabinet member close to the chief minister told The News on condition of anonymity.

Some of the PTI lawmakers in the provincial assembly claimed that Atif Khan was allotted the portfolio of health, which is presently being held by Taimur Salim Jhagra.

However, sources close to the chief minister denied these reports, saying the chief minister would meet Prime Minister Imran Khan and he would then decide about the portfolios.

Atif Khan and Shakeel Ahmad along with Shahram Khan Tarakai were part of the cabinet when they developed differences with the chief minister and were thus removed from the cabinet in January 2020. Atif Kan was minister of sports, culture and tourism, Shahram Tarakai was the health minister, while Shakeel Ahmad was minister of revenue and estate.

Shahram Tarakai later resolved issues with the chief minister and was brought back to the cabinet. He is holding the portfolio of elementary and secondary education. Prime Minister Imran Khan a few months ago intervened and resolved differences between Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and Atif Khan.

He had invited both of them along with Governor Shah Farman to the PM’s House. Shah Farman had played a role in resolving the differences between Mahmood Khan and Atif Khan.

Before the oath, the governor had arranged a meeting between Mahmood Khan and Atif Khan. Some of the cabinet members told The News that Atif Khan used to be rude and critical of the chief minister in official meetings in the past. They said Mahmood Khan had never reacted to Atif Khan and Shahram Tarakai’s misbehaviour and rude attitude and rather used to be very calm and cold. “Since Shahram Tarakai has changed himself now we would like to see how Atif Khan appears after his long absence from the cabinet,” said a member of the cabinet on condition of anonymity.