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ISLAMABAD: Two more ministers have been included in the federal cabinet despite the government’s tall claims of adopting austerity measures and keeping the size of the cabinet ‘quite small’.

President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath of office on Friday to MNA Sheikh Aftab Ahmed and Senator Mir Hasil Bizenjo as federal ministers in a special ceremony held at the President House, the president’s spokesman said.

Members of parliament, cabinet secretary and senior government officials attended the ceremony conducted in Urdu.

The government has not yet given portfolios to the newly appointed federal ministers.

With the inclusion of two more ministers, the total number of members in the federal cabinet has risen to 40 with 21 federal ministers, nine ministers of state, four advisers to the prime minister and six special assistants to the prime minister.

Sheikh Aftab Ahmed, a leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), was already holding the office of minister of state for parliamentary affairs and now he has been made federal minister.

The second newly-appointed federal minister — Mir Hasil Bizenjo — belongs to the National Party (NP) of Balochistan which is a coalition partner of the PML-N both at the centre and in Balochistan.

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2016