PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan’s 11-member cabinet was sworn-in on Wednesday after a last-minute revision of the list of ministers-designate.
On Sunday, the ruling PTI had named 12 ministers-designate, including young Peshawar MPA Kamran Khan Bangash.
It however dropped the name of Mr Bangash, the designated information technology minister, from the cabinet oath-taking list at the last minute without citing any reason.
The sources claimed that the move was meant to accommodate the relatives of influential persons in the PTI, who were likely to become assembly members after winning the imminent by-polls, as the Constitution restricted the strength of the provincial cabinet to 15.
Ruling PTI changed list of ministers-designate at last minute
They said Mr Bangash had learned late on Tuesday that his name wasn’t part of the cabinet cabinet swearing-in list shared with the Governor’s House.
The sources said Mr Bangash later contacted the chief minister and learned that he won’t take oath as minister as he would be a special assistant to the chief minister on IT and that the initial list mistakenly named him as the minister.
A statement issued by the Chief Minister’s House alleged that the media had created confusion on the matter.
However, a PTI leader said the ‘denial’ of ministry to Mr Bangash wasn’t unexpected as he’s not only very junior member of the party but was also ‘young’.
He wondered how Mr Bangash could work as a special assistant to the chief minister for a year before getting a ministry.
The PTI leader said the move would help accommodate someone from other ministerial hopefuls.
When contacted, Mr Bangash refused to comment on the development and insisted that he’s ‘least interested’ in the ministry and would work as MPA in line with the vision of party chief Imran Khan.
The cabinet’s swearing-in has fuelled speculations about differences within the ruling party.
Earlier, Shah Mohammad Wazir, who was designated the special assistant to the chief minister on transport, refused to accept the position and accused former chief minister Pervez Khattak of blocking his nomination as a minister.
He reportedly met the chief minister on Wednesday afternoon and got an assurance of being made adviser in the next phase of cabinet expansion.
The cabinet swearing-in occurred at the Governor’s House.
Acting governor Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani administered the oath to the ministers, including Mohammad Atif Khan, Shahram Khan Tarakai, Dr Hisham Inamullah, Dr. Amjad Ali, Akbar Ayub Khan, Qalandher Lodhi, Muhibullah, Taimoor Khan Jhagrra, Shakil Khan, Syed Ishtiaq Urmar and Sultan Mohammad Khan.
The ceremony was attended by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, acting Speaker of the provincial assembly Mahmood Jan, members of parliament, executive secretaries and senior officials of the provincial government.
Later, the acting governor congratulated ministers and wished them success in discharging of their respective responsibilities in the best possible manner.
Published in Dawn, August 30th, 2018