TABISH Gauhar
TABISH Gauhar

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan raised the number of his cabinet members to 50 on Friday by appointing former chairman of Karachi Electric (KE) Tabish Gauhar as his special assistant on power.

A notification issued by the Prime Minister Office said: “The prime minister has been pleased to appoint Mr Tabish Gauhar as Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Power with immediate effect.”

Mr Gauhar is the founder and chairman of Oasis Energy, a management consultancy firm in the power and energy sector. He has a first-class honours degree from King’s College, London, and also an MBA degree from the Institute of Business Administration in Pakistan.

Media reported that he had stepped down as director, chief executive officer and chairman of the KE board in 2015 after working at the organisation for over seven years.

It has been reported that under Mr Gauhar’s command, the company made significant progress in key operational and financial indicators and generated a profit for the first time in 17 years in 2012.

With latest addition, cabinet members’ number rises to 50

When Mr Khan was in the opposition, he criticised the then government for having a heavy cabinet and vowed to keep a small one if he came to power to honour the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) manifesto of austerity. However, with the addition of Mr Gauhar, the cabinet of Prime Minister Khan has 50 members now.

However, his cabinet is still smaller than the cabinets of the previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government. The cabinets of former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who became the premier after the removal of Mr Sharif in 2017, had 58 members.

Interestingly, under the 18th Amendment, the maximum size of the cabinet should be 11 per cent of the total number of seats in the National Assembly (342 members) and the Senate (104), which is 49.

PM Khan’s cabinet has 27 federal ministers, three ministers of state, 15 special assistants and five advisers.

Former tourism minister and PTI joint secretary Nilofer Bakhtiar has been assigned the additional office of the adviser to the party’s chief organiser. She will serve as the focal person for Insaf Women Wing.

A notification issued by the PTI chief organiser stated that her appointment had been made in consultation with PM Khan.

She has also been authorised to review appointment of any party office-bearer at any level with the approval of the chief organiser.

Published in Dawn, October 3rd, 2020

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