QUETTA: An all-men cabinet of Balochistan took oath on Sunday while Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo also appointed five advisers and three female lawmakers as parliamentary secretaries.
Most of the provincial ministers were also part of the previous Jam Kamal Khan Alyani-led cabinet, as only three new faces — Mir Sikandar Ali Umrani of the Balochistan Awami Party, Syed Ehsan Shah of the Pakistan National Party and Mobeen Khan Khilji of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf — were inducted this time.
Governor Syed Zahoor Ahmed Agha administered the oath to the new cabinet at a ceremony held on the lawn of Governor House.
Besides Mr Bizenjo, federal Minister for Defence Production Zubeida Jalal, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Qasim Khan Suri, leaders of different political parties, tribal elders, members of the provincial assembly and people from different walks of life attended the ceremony.
However, none of the newly appointed parliamentary secretaries attended the ceremony. Also, PTI parliamentary leader and ex-minister for education Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind was conspicuous by his absence after he was not inducted in the new cabinet.
On the occasion, the CM told the media that portfolios of the ministers would be decided and announced within a couple of days.
Eleven members of the 14-member cabinet were also part of the previous cabinet, which stood dissolved on October 24 when the governor accepted Mr Alyani’s resignation from CM office.
The ministers who took the oath of their offices were Abdul Rehman Khetran, Sardar Mohammad Saleh Bhootani, Mir Zahoor Ahmed Buledi, Haji Akbar Askani, Mr Umrani, Haji Mohammad Khan Lehri, Nawabzada Tariq Magsi, Haji Noor Mohammad Dummar of the BAP, Mir Asadullah Baloch of Balochistan National Party Awami, Mr Shah of the BNP, Mir Naseebullah Khan Marri and Mobeen Khan Khilji of the PTI, Zmarak Khan Piralizai of the Awami National Party and Abdul Khaliq Hazara of the Hazara Democratic Party.
According to an official notification, Lala Abdul Rasheed Baloch, Sardar Masood Ali Luni, Ziaullah Langove of the BAP, Nawabzada Mir Gohram Khan Bugti of the Jamhoori Watan Party and PTI’s Mir Niamatullah Zehri were appointed advisers to the chief minister.
Except Mr Zehri, all the new advisers had previously served as special assistant to CM Alyani while Mr Langove had held the portfolio of home ministry.
Besides, Bushra Rind, Mahjabeen Sheran and Laila Tareen who played an important role in the campaign against the former chief minister were appointed parliamentary secretaries. However, they did not attend the oath taking ceremony, as sources said they were unhappy for not being inducted in the cabinet as ministers.
Chief Minister Bizenjo while talking to the media after the ceremony announced that portfolios would be allotted to the new ministers within a couple of days. “The issue of allotting portfolios would be resolved today or tomorrow,” he added.
While dispelling the impression that Pakhtuns were not given proper representation in the new cabinet, the chief minister said: “Pakhtun MPAs were inducted in the cabinet.”
Referring to the 18th Constitutional Amendment, Mr Bizenjo said: “No more MPAs could be accommodated in the cabinet.”
JUI-F refuses to join cabinet: CM
Replying to a question, Mr Bizenjo said the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl) had supported a movement launched by the BAP lawmakers against ex-CM Ayani, but it refused to join the government. However, he added, “We will try our best to take everyone along.”
Replying to a question about young doctors’ strike, he said he had formed a parliamentary committee for negotiation before they come on the roads and the government was serious about resolving the issues of doctors.
However, he asserted that the medical profession was a sacred job and the government expected that doctors would fulfill their responsibilities about serving the people and would not deny treatment facilities to the less privileged people who visited government hospitals with the hope that they would get the best treatment without worrying for its cost.
Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2021