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Confusion prevails as reshuffle in KP cabinet not notified

Updated April 09, 2014

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File photo
File photo

PESHAWAR: The reshuffle in provincial cabinet by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led coalition government has brought to a standstill the file work at the departments that have been given to the new ministers, officials say.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government inducted five new ministers and reshuffled the departments of two other cabinet members on April 2 after a decision by the PTI core committee.

“However, there is no proper summary about the reshuffling of portfolios of the ministers which has created an uncertain situation for the departments concerned,” senior officials said.

In the reshuffle, Shahram Khan Tarakai, who was holding the portfolio of minister for agriculture, was given the charge of health department. Shaukat Yousafzai, the health minister, was made minister for industries.

Both have stopped to work as ministers of their previous departments after they were verbally informed by the party chairman and Chief Minister Pervez Khattak.

Interestingly, no notification has been issued to this effect. Technically, both the ministers continue to hold their portfolios but both of them have not only stopped working as ministers but have begun holding meetings with officials of their new departments. Legally and technically, they are not in-charges of these departments, sources say.

According to them, Senior Minister Shahram Khan Tarakai, who was made health minister to replace Shaukat Yousafzai, is facing an awkward situation as he can’t issue directives about the affairs of his new department. Technically, he is still agriculture minister as there is no official notification that he is the health minister, sources say.

“Ii is quite right that there is no notification due to which we face problems in official work. I have been working with the blessings of Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, who has directed me to work as health minister,” Mr Tarakai told Dawn.

A notification regarding reshuffle in cabinet would be issued soon, he said. Presently, the minister tackles issues of agriculture department as he can’t issue directives in health department.

Shaukat Yousafzai, who now heads portfolio of industries minister after the reshuffle, is officially provincial minister for health as far as a notification is not issued to the department concerned.

On Sunday, Mr Yousafzai inaugurated the 10th round of Sehat Ka Insaf programme in Peshawar despite the fact he is no longer health minister.

The same day, Mr Tarakai visited Swabi, Mardan and Charsadda districts to inaugurate Sehat Ka Insaf campaigns there. The same evening, he rushed to Peshawar to hold a press conference.

Mr Yousafzai also joined Mr Tarakai when he inaugurated the 9th round of Sehat Ka Insaf in Peshawar on March 31. Two ministers inaugurated the same campaign at the same place because both considered themselves heads of health department.

“It is an example of bad governance. We follow directives on papers. There is no value of media reports. We need the government to notify a minister,” a senior health official said.

According to him, the department has been giving briefings to Mr Tarakai on health programmes but he will assume full authority after he is notified as minister.

Mr Yousafzai acknowledged that though technically he was still health minister, yet he had stopped going to the office out of courtesy for Mr Tarakai. “I am concentrating on the industries department,” he said, admitting that ‘technically’ he Confusion prevails as reshuffle in KP cabinet not notified was still not notified as minister for industries.

“I think the notification will be issued in due course,” he said. He added that status quo prevailed in health department.

The announcement by PTI chairman following his meeting with the party forward bloc in Islamabad increased the prevailing confusion as he put the reshuffle and new ministers on hold till further order.

Mr Tarakai believed that Imran Khan’s announcement did not apply to the reshuffle and that the chief minister had told him to continue working as health minister.

However, officials say that work in both the departments has been brought to a standstill. They say that no policy decisions can be made unless they know who their boss is.