LAHORE/PESHAWAR - An eight-member caretaker Punjab cabinet was sworn in on Thursday night at a ceremony held at the Governor House Lahore. Punjab Governor Muhammad Baligh ur Rehman administered oath to the caretaker cabinet. Chief Secretary Punjab, Chaudhry Zahid Akhtar Zaman read out the notification regarding the appointments. The caretaker cabinet includes SM Tanveer (A businessman), Dr. Javed Akram (ex-VC UHS and brother of LHC judge Malik Qayyum (late) and PML-N ex-MNA Pervaiz Malik (late), Ibrahim Murad (President UMT University Lahore), Bilal Afzal (Director Punjab group of colleges) Dr. Jamal Nasir (an ex-bureaucrat), Mansoor Qadir (a retired PMS officer who also served as commissioner Gujranwala division), Syed Azfar Ali Nasir (an industrialist) and Aamir Mir (a senior journalist and younger brother of Hamid Mir). Caretaker Chief Minister Punjab ,Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi, Chief Secretary Punjab Chaudhry Zahid Akhtar Zaman, Inspector General of Police Punjab Dr. Usman Anwar among others were present in the solemn ceremony.
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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Haji Ghulam Ali on Thursday administered oath to 14 members of the interim cabinet, amid reports that most of the cabinet members were chosen on basis of their “connections”. The governor approved the interim cabinet under Article 224(1A) of the Constitution, according to a notification released by the KP government’s Administrative Department. The ministers who took oath included former inspector general (IG) Syed Masood Shah, Barrister Sanwal Nazir, Bakht Nawaz, Fazal Elahi, Adnan Jalil, Shafi Ullah Khan, Shahid Khan Khattak, Haji Ghufran, Khushdil Khan Malik, Taj Muhammad Afridi, Muhammad Ali Shah, and Justice (r) Irshad Qaiser, Manzoor Khan Afridi, Abdul Haleem Qasuriya, and Hamid Shah. The ministers were sworn in at the Governor’s House. The interim cabinet members’ portfolios have yet to be disclosed. One of the ministers, Manzoor Afridi, did not take the oath as he is abroad currently. However, former provincial finance minister and Pakistan Tehreek-eInsaf (PTI) leader Taimur Jhagra has expressed reservations over the newly formed interim administration.
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Meanwhile, several social media users claimed that most of the interim cabinet members were chosen based on “connections,” as the majority of them are either former public office-holders or relatives of bigwigs. Masood Khan is a former IGP and is also the father-in-law of the daughter of Caretaker Chief Minister Muhammad Azam Khan. Taj Muhammad Afridi is a former senator while Mansoor Afridi is a confidante of JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. Another cabinet member Haji Ghufran is an industrialist and fatherin-law of the daughter of former governor Mehtab Ahmed Khan. Fazal Elahi is an industrialist while Bakht Nawaz is the son of the former minister Alamzeb Khan. Abdul Haleem Qasuriya and Hamid Shah have remained members of KP Assembly in the past. Similarly, Adnan Jalil is a businessperson and son of the late ANP leader Haji Muhammad Adeel, Muhammad Ali Shah is affiliated with the PMLN while Shahid Khan is a businessperson who has contested elections for KP and National Assembly on ANP tickets in the past. Meanwhile, taking to Twitter, PTI leader and former minister Taimur Jhagra tweeted the appointment notification, stating, “Sadly, this appears like a PDM cabinet.”
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