ISLAMABAD: The government has inducted six more diehard political aides to Prime Minister Imran Khan into the cabinet, taking its total strength to 34.
President Dr Arif Alvi administered the oath to the new ministers at a ceremony held at the President House. It was the fourth expansion in the federal cabinet since it was formed following the elections in July.
Muhammad Faisal Vawda, Senator Azam Khan Swati, Muhammadmian Soomro, Ali Amin Gandapur and Sahibzada Muhammad Mehmood Sultan were sworn in as federal ministers, while Zartaj Gul Wazir was made minister of state.
Mohammadmian Soomro is likely to be assigned the portfolio of privatisation, while Ali Amin Gandapur is expected to look after the ministry of Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan affairs. The portfolio of science and technology will be given to Azam Swati, whereas Zartaj Gul will be appointed minister of state for climate change.
The federal cabinet now has 24 ministers, six state ministers and four advisers.
According to the Constitution, the maximum strength of the federal cabinet can be 49. Last month, six new ministers were inducted — Omar Ayub Khan, Ali Muhammad Khan, Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Muhammad Shabbir Ali, Murad Saeed and Muhammad Hammad Azhar.
Ali Muhammad Khan was assigned the portfolio of parliamentary affairs, Ali Zaidi was given the ministry of maritime affairs and Murad Saeed was made state minister for communications.
According to reports, Muhammadmian Soomro, a Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf MNA from Jacobabad, had declined to be appointed state minister for privatisation, which is why he has now been extended the office of federal minister.
Published in Dawn, October 6th, 2018