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Fahim among 40 new ministers

November 04, 2008

ISLAMABAD, Nov 3: As many as 22 federal ministers and 18 ministers of state were inducted into the federal cabinet on Monday, raising its strength to 55.

The first batch of ministers was inducted on March 31.

Advisers Mian Manzoor Wattoo and Sahibzada Hamid Saeed Kazmi also became ministers in the expanded cabinet.

Apart from a few seasoned politicians like Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Mian Raza Rabbani, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani and Mr Wattoo, most of the new ministers are young.

President Asif Ali Zardari administered oath to the new ministers. The cabinet now comprises 35 federal ministers, 18 ministers of state and two advisers. The advisers have a status of federal ministers.

The portfolios of some ministers have been changed.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Q’s forward bloc did not get ministerial berths and no new minister was inducted from the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl).

While one of JUI-F’s aspirants, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, was in Geneva as part of a parliamentary delegation, the party’s chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman was also missing from the oath-taking ceremony.

Pir Noorul Haq Qadri from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) also joined the cabinet.

Awami National Party’s ministers Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour and Khwaja Mohammad Khan Hoti were assigned the portfolios of railway and narcotics control in place of local government and social welfare.

Amin Fahim has been appointed senior minister with the portfolio of commerce. Mian Raza Rabbani will be the federal minister for inter-provincial coordination, Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo industries, Hamid Saeed Kazmi religious affairs, Dr Babar Awan parliamentary affairs, Dr Firdaus Ashiq Awan population, Shahbaz Bhatti minorities affairs and Hazar Khan Bijarani education.

Other new names included Rana Mohammad Farooq Saeed Khan, Samina Khalid Ghurki, Sardar Abdul Qayum Jatoi, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Syed Mumtaz Alam Gilani, Pir Aftab Shah Jilani, Mir Ijaz Hussain Jhakhrani, Shahid Hussain Bhutto, Dr Arbab Alamgir Khan, Waqar Ahmed Khan, Lal Mohammad Khan, Mir Israrullah Zehri, Abdur Razaq Thaheem and Pir Noorul Haq Qadri.

The new ministers of state are: Tariq Anees, Imtiaz Safdar Warriach, Mehrin Anwar Raja, Tasneem Ahmed Qureshi, Mohammad Afzal Sindhu, Ghulam Fareed Kathia, Rafiq Ahmed Jamali, Sardar Nabeel Ahmed Gabol, Mohammad Jadam Mangrio, Shagufta Jumani, Hina Rabbani Khar, Sardar Salim Haider, Nawabzada Malik Ahmad Khan, Syed Samsam Ali Shah, Dr Ayatullah Durrani, Abdul Rafiq, Arbab Mohammad Zahir and Masood Abbas.

Nabeel Gabol will be the minister of state for ports and shipping and Hina Rabbani Khar for economic affairs.

President Zardari hosted a dinner after the oath-taking.