ISLAMABAD, Nov 22: The Prime Minister-elect, Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, in his meeting with President Gen Pervez Musharraf on Friday, discussed formation of his cabinet and other issues, sources said.
The PML-Q sources told Dawn that a preliminary list of probable members of the new cabinet was finalized from among party leaders and the high-ups of the establishment.
The new cabinet, sources claimed, would be a blend of party stalwarts, coalition partners as well as the ones from the Musharraf cabinet who would work as mark of continuation of economic and good governance policies. The cabinet will be formed in phases and the first batch will have eight to 10 ministers.
According to sources close to the PM-elect, Jamali sought president’s advice on taking one or more sitting ministers from the existing cabinet on top of them being Shaukat Aziz in his cabinet. Other aspirants from Musharraf cabinet include Moinuddin Haider and Abdur Razzak Daud who have sought Senate tickets of the PML-Q, sources said.
At least two nominees of President Musharraf including sitting finance minister Shaukat Aziz and former education minister Zubaida Jalal are being accommodated in the first batch. They are likely to take charge of the same portfolios to ensure the continuity in their respective areas.
Shaukat Aziz is expected to take oath as the adviser to the prime minister on finance and economic affairs.
The People’s Party Parliamentarian- forward block will also get a sizable share in the federal cabinet for switching their loyalties. Makhdoom Faisal Saleh Hayat and Rao Sikandar Iqbal would be rewarded with the priced portfolios of interior and defence for spearheading the revolt in the PPP. Khalid Lund is the third member of the forward who will be inducted as the minister for culture, tourism and sports.
Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, Humayun Akhtar, Shiekh Rashid, and Umer Ayub are the four members of PML-Q to be inducted in the first batch.
Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri will get the portfolio of foreign minister, Humayun Akhtar, commerce, Shiekh Rashid, information and Umer Ayub Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas.
In the quota of NWFP President of his own faction of People’s Party Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao will be inducted as the Minister for Water and Power. Besides two nominees of MQM, one each from PML-J and PML-F, are also to be inducted in the cabinet.
On Friday, the issue of the formation of cabinet remained under discussion among the party leadership and the representatives of establishment on Friday.
Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, the parliamentary leader of the PML-Q, his cousin Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, chief minister-designate of Punjab and president’s principal secretary Tariq Aziz remained together with Mir Zafarullah Jamali at Balochistan House for many hours.
A large number of people from a cross-section of the society thronged Balochistan House where the PM-elect will stay till he takes oath of office, to congratulate him on his election as the chief executive of the country.
Jamali, who spent most of the time on the formation of his cabinet with party leaders, coalition partners and government representatives declined to meet the mediamen and conveyed that he would only speak to them after his taking oath at 10am on Saturday.
The sources said the names for the Jamali cabinet members have almost been finalized and a final touches would be given to the list in late night discussions among various groups and Jamali.
ISLAMABAD: Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali will take oath of office of the prime minister on Saturday at 9.30am, at the Aiwan-i-Sadr.
President General Pervez Musharraf will administer the oath, says an official announcement.
The president will host an Iftar party for the MNAs the same evening.—APP