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LAHORE: Speculations are rife for announcement of the Punjab Cabinet members within a day or two as Prime Minister Imran Khan has reportedly completed consultations with Chief Minister Usman Buzdar in a meeting, which was also attended by Aleem Khan, say sources.

Besides selection of ministers, the sources say, discussion was also held to constitute a three or four members committee to guide the chief minister for performing his official duties in the province. It is also learnt that the PTI government has decided not to extend ‘senior minister’ portfolio to any minister, considering that there is no such provision in the Constitution.

The sources say the prime minister has also taken Governor-designate Chaudhry Sarwar and former opposition leader in Punjab Assembly Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed into confidence before finalising candidates for ministers’ slots.

Committee to guide CM on the cards; PTI may induct 15 ministers in first go

It is learnt the PTI government may induct around 15 ministers in the first go. The potential candidates from Lahore being considered for the Punjab Cabinet include Aleem Khan, Dr Yasmin Rashid, Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed and Mian Aslam Iqbal. Raja Basharat from Rawalpindi, a trusted lieutenant of Speaker Pervaiz Elahi, is also likely to be taken in the fold of the cabinet.

Besides these probable names, there are others who are vying to be a part of the Punjab Cabinet. They include the new entrants into the party from south Punjab, Mohsin Leghari (DG Khan) and Hashim Jawan Bakht, who was a part of Junoobi Punjab Sooba Mahaz (JPSM). Others, who are looking for minister’s job are: Raja Yassir Humayun, Ammar Yasir, Faisal Jewana, Taimoor Bhatti, Ajmal Cheema and Jahanzeb Khichi.

BRIEFING: Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on Friday chaired a meeting at the Planning & Development department and got briefing on the ongoing annual development programme of the province as well as four-month development budget passed by the caretaker government.

Mr Buzdar told the meeting Prime Minister Imran Khan’s only agenda was to serve the masses and the Punjab government must lead this agenda. He stressed that all decisions for public service should be taken through consultations and collective wisdom must prevail.

Besides announcing that he would make CM’s office in Civil Secretariat functional, Mr Buzdar told the bureaucracy that he would take it along as his team. Interestingly, he also said, “Rearrangements are usually made whenever a new government is installed. I assure you that we won’t do reshuffling”. He added, “My support is with you and I will continue standing by you”.

The chief minister assured the bureaucrats that the political setup would support them to improve the quality of life of the poor as envisioned by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Mr Buzdar asked the bureaucracy to focus on the development of backward south Punjab in a serious manner. He asserted that corruption would not be tolerated and good governance must prevail to bring about change in the best interest of the public.

The chief minister said he would also visit each and every department of the government and take briefings from officers and develop necessary liaison with them. He said he had plans to visit divisional headquarters and other districts.

The P&D chairman apprised the chief minister about the budgetary details and targets of annual development programme. The chief secretary, provincial secretaries and other senior officials concerned attended the meeting.

Published in Dawn, August 25th, 2018