LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan and Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi on Thursday shortlisted 21 lawmakers to be taken in the first round of the Punjab cabinet, while ignoring PML-Q parliamentarians and some notables from the previous Usman Buzdar cabinet.

The names finalised by Imran Khan were handed over to chief minister’s son MNA Moonis Elahi in a one-on-one meeting in Islamabad early on Thursday. The cabinet members will take oath on Saturday (tomorrow).

Moonis Elahi received the list of the proposed first phase 21-member cabinet and assured PTI chairman Imran Khan that he had already given Punjab’s chief ministership to the PML-Q and nothing more was required. He stated that Mr Khan told him that the PML-Q parliamentarians would also be inducted in the provincial cabinet in the second phase.

PML-Q legislators to be inducted in second phase

“I met Imran Khan today and assured him that he has already made us Punjab chief minister and nothing further is required. He was gracious enough to allow cabinet slots in the second phase,” Moonis Elahi tweeted.

It is learnt that former chief minister Usman Buzdar has been named as parliamentary leader in the Punjab Assembly.

The PTI has offered finance portfolio to Mohsin Leghari; home and prisons department has been given under the control of retired Col Hashim Dogar; law and parliamentary affairs to Khurram Virk; Dr Yasmin Rashid has been retained as health minister, Raja Yasir Humayun as higher education and IT minister; Murad Raas as school education minister.

Former home and law minister Basharat Raja has been given cooperatives and prosecution portfolio; Asif Nikai has been selected for excise and taxation department, while Ali Sahi was given communication and works (C&W) department.

Taimur Malik has been given sports and culture portfolio, Ansar Niazi (Labour), Muneeb Cheema (Transport), Shahabuddin Sehar (Livestock), Nawabzada Mansur Khan (Revenue), Jahanian Gardezi (Agriculture), Ghazananfar Abbas Chheena (social welfare), Latief Nazar (Mines and Minerals), Hasnanim Dareshak (Energy and food), Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed (Local Government), Mian Aslam Iqbal (Housing and Industries) and Ali Abbas Shah (Forest and Wildlife). Mr Umar Cheema has been selected as an adviser to chief minister on information.

It may be mentioned that ex-finance minister Hashim Jawan Bakht, former public prosecution minister Chaudhry Zaheeruddin and former literacy and non-formal basic education minister Raja Rashid Hafeez and others have been ignored in the list of the first phase 21-member cabinet.

Published in Dawn, August 5th, 2022

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