ISLAMABAD, Nov 2: At least 20 new ministers, belonging to all parties in the ruling coalition, will be inducted in the federal cabinet on Monday, it was learnt here on Sunday.
Sources said that Senior PPP leader Makhdoom Amin Fahim might get the post of a senior minister in the first cabinet expansion being undertaken after the PML-N quit the coalition.
Others expected to be included in the cabinet are Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Aftab Shaaban Mirani, Naveed Gabol, Firdaus Ashiq Awan, Samina Gurki, Babar Awan, Mumtaz Alam Gilani, Justice (retd) Abdul Razzaq Thaheem, Qayyum Jatoi, Senator Israr Ullah Zahri, Senator Waseem, Shahid Bhutto, Lal Khan, Pir Aftab Jilani, Hina Rabbani Khar, Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Tasneem Ahmed Qureshi, Imtiaz Safdar Waraich, Mir Hazar Khan Bijrani, Mehreen Anwar Raja, Khushbakht Shujaat, Senator Waqar, Ammad Khan, Saleem Haider, Masood Abbas and Shahbaz Bhatti.
President Asif Ali Zardari will administer the oath to new members of the cabinet.
According to sources, Makhdoom Amin Fahim initially declined the post of senior minister, but at the insistence of President Asif Ali Zardari indicated his willingness to accept the offer.
The sources said the PPP had decided to give preference to those lawmakers who had been elected for the second term.
Besides the PPP, MQM, ANP and JUI-F, there is a possibility of some PML-F leaders and some independent parliamentarians joining the cabinet.
President Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani discussed the cabinet expansion on Sunday and decided that a formal announcement would be made on Monday.
The sources said that a few more ministers could be inducted at a later stage. The sources also said that the sitting ministers would be relieved of additional charges, and portfolios of some of the ministers might also be changed to accommodate some coalition partners who were interested in specific ministries.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement is likely to get three or four berths in the cabinet. The sources said the MQM was interested in the ministries of petroleum, housing and works, communications and ports and shipping. However, there is some reservation in the PPP over giving these ministries to the MQM.
The sources said that Jamil Soomro, a close aide to President Asif Zardari, might be made a media adviser and in that case Farhatullah Babar would get a new assignment.