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4-member interim cabinet sworn in

LAHORE, April 1: A four-member caretaker cabinet of Punjab took oath here on Monday.

Governor Makhdoom Ahmad Mehmood administered the oath to Tariq Pervaiz, Saleema Hashmi, Arif Ijaz and Shams Mehmood Mirza at the Governor’s House. Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Najam Sethi was also present.

The name of educationist Eric Massey was also included in the list of the caretaker cabinet but he could not take the oath as he was reportedly out of the city.

Former National College of Arts principal and civil society activist Salima Hashmi, who is daughter of poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz, got the portfolios of health, women development, population welfare and youth affairs. Tariq Pervaiz, a former IGP was given home department, noted lawyer Shamas Mehmood Mirza local government and prosecution law and industrialist Arif Ejaz will be the interim minister for industries, energy, transport, environment and labour.

Najam Sethi congratulated the ministers and said the caretaker setup was impartial and apolitical. “Holding elections in a free, fair and transparent manner is the responsibility of the caretakers. No hurdle will be tolerated in holding general elections in a peaceful and orderly manner,” he said.

Mr Sethi said a peaceful atmosphere would be ensured in the province and no one would be allowed to take undue advantage. He said corruption would not be tolerated and no illegal activity be permitted.

He also held a meeting with the governor and discussed political situation of the province and other issues.

Meanwhile, the PPP has praised Mr Sethi for having a small cabinet. PPP Punjab vice-president Azizur Rehman Chan in a statement said: “Having a small cabinet is reflective of positive thinking of Mr Sethi.”