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ISLAMABAD: The government announced here on Monday appointment of Senator Mushahidullah Khan, a close associate of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, as a federal minister.

According to a source in the ruling PML-N, the senator will hold the office of chairman of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) with the status of federal minister, Mr Mushahidullah told Dawn that he had not been informed by the party leadership about the post he would hold.

“Though I have never asked for favours from the party leadership, I am happy that the prime minister has recognised my services and given me an opportunity to serve at the level of federal minister,” he said.

Mr Mushahidullah is also the ruling party’s information secretary.

About the timing of appointment, he said the decision had been taken some time back but the announcement was delayed because of some reasons. The Presidency had confirmed his appointment, he added.

Another source, well-connected to the party leadership, claimed that by sending Mr Mushahidullah to the federal cabinet the party wanted to save a seat in the Senate because he was retiring from the Upper House in March this year.

Mr Mushahidullah’s daughter is a member of the National Assembly on reserved seat for women.

Rawalpindi-born Mushahidullah Khan jointed the PML-N in 1990 after the party’s victory in general elections.

Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2015

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