PESHAWAR: In a major cabinet reshuffle, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on Saturday changed the portfolios of four ministers and his two aides, including an adviser and a special assistant.
He also appointed two new ministers, an adviser and eight special assistants.
The development comes after months of speculations about cabinet changes and expansion.
A notification issued by the administration department said local government minister Shahram Khan Tarakai’s portfolio had been changed and he had been assigned the health department.
Mr Tarakai had held the charge of the health department for around four years in the last Pervez Khattak-led cabinet.
Health minister Hasham Inamullah, who had antagonised doctors for more than once during the last one and a half years, got a relatively insignificant social welfare portfolio, while mines and minerals minister Dr Amjad Ali, who hails from the chief minister’s home district, Swat, was made the head of the rather small housing department.
Appoints two new ministers, one adviser, eight special assistants
Communication and works minister Akbar Ayub Khan was given the elementary and secondary education portfolio.
Among the two new ministers were Mohammad Iqbal Wazir of North Waziristan tribal district and Malik Shah Mohammad of Bannu district.
Iqbal Wazir, the first minister in the cabinet from merged tribal districts, got the relief and rehabilitation portfolio, while Malik Shah Mohammad was made the minister of the transport department, which he’d headed in the last PTI government as well.
The chief minister changed the portfolio of his adviser on elementary and secondary education Ziaullah Bangash to science and information technology’s and that of his special assistant on science and information technology Kamran Khan Bangash to local government and rural development’s.
He appointed Khaleequr Rehman, a lawmaker from Nowshera district, his adviser on higher education.
As for the eight newly-appointed special assistants, Ghazan Jamal, MPA from Orakzai district, got the portfolio of excise and taxation, Zahoor Shakir Auqaf and religious affairs’, Arif Ahmedzai mines and minerals’, Riaz Khan public health engineering’s, Shafiullah Khan anti-corruption, complaint cell and provincial inspection team’s, Taj Mohammad Tarand prison’s and Ahmad Hussain Shah population welfare’s.
Minority MPA Wazirzada was given the charge of the minority affairs. He is the first member of his small Kalash minority in Chitral district to make it to the cabinet since the creation of Pakistan in 1947.
However, none of the 16 women MPAs of the ruling PTI got a cabinet berth even one and a half years after the formation of the government.
“Most changes have been made on the basis of performance,” said a source said, adding that Mr Shahram was given the health portfolio as he had smoothly run the department in the past and had good rapport with prime minister’s cousin and head of National Health Task Force Dr Nausherwan Burki.
“The prime minister asked him (Shahram) to take charge of the health department,” the source claimed.
He also insisted that Akbar Ayub Khan also requested for the change of the communication and works portfolio over his issues with contractors due to limited cash flow.
The chief minister has held the C&W portfolio with him.
The source said Dr Amjad had served as the housing minister in the past, while Malik Shah Mohammad, who had previously refused to accept the adviser’s position, was adjusted as the minister after the cabinet berths became available.
He said Kamran Bangash was considered for both higher education and local government departments but the chief minister opted to give him the local government portfolio.
“It’s a promotion for Mr Bangash,” he said.
Information minister Shaukat Yousafzai told Dawn that the cabinet reshuffled was mostly based on the performance of members. He said the reassigning of portfolio was the prerogative of the chief minister.
With the recent induction, the number of ministers in the cabinet has jumped to 15, while there are four advisers and 10 special assistants.
Published in Dawn, January 5th, 2020