LAHORE, Nov 24: Some 15 new ministers, including five women, were inducted to the Punjab cabinet on Monday, raising its total strength to 41 from the previous 26.
The present provincial cabinet is the largest ever in the history of the province. In addition to the cabinet ministers, the province has some eight elected and unelected advisers and special assistants.
“Punjab is the largest province and ours is the largest provincial assembly. Hence, the largest cabinet,” Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi told reporters in answer to a question following the swearing-in of new ministers by Governor Khalid Maqbool.
However, he ruled out further expansion of cabinet, at least for several months to come.
This is the only cabinet expansion announced by the government of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi.
All the newly-inducted ministers belong to the ruling PML-Q which has contemptuously ignored its coalition partners — the PPP Patriots and the Grand National Alliance.
“We took one minister from the PPP Patriots at the time of induction of my government. There was no more room for more ministers (from the Patriots),” the chief minister told a questioner.
The names of new provincial ministers are: Saeed Akbar Khan, Group Capt (retd) Mushtaq Ahmad Kiani, Col (retd) Shuja Khanzada , Sardar Hasan Akhtar Mokal, Syed Saeedul Hasan, Rana Mohammad Qasim Noon, Armughan Subhani, Muhammad Ejaz Shafi, Ghulam Mohyuddin Chishti, Syeda Sughra Imam, Aashifa Riaz Fatyana, Nasim Lodhi, Qudsia Lodhi, Joyce Rufin Julius and Abdul Aleem Khan.
Jam Muhammad Hashim Ghalija has been assigned the fisheries department.