Pakistan: Govt claims to have addressed allies’ reservations over ministries

Islamabad, April 19 : The Pakistan government claims to have addressed “reservations” of the allies in the ruling coalition regarding the ministries being allocated in the new ministry, Dawn reported on Tuesday. This they said has paved the way for the first phase of the long-awaited induction of a 34-member cabinet. Meanwhile, the oath-taking ceremony of the cabinet members was postponed from Monday till Tuesday 11 am after President Arif Alvi refused to administer the oath to the lawmakers. The oath will be administered to 29 federal ministers and 4 ministers of state by Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani as President Alvi won’t be attending the ceremony as he is going on leave. Chaudhry Tariq Bashir Cheema of PML-Q, who is expected to be in the cabinet, will however, not take the oath on Tuesday. On the other hand, some of the allies are still said to be “unsatisfied” over the demands they had extended to the government regarding distribution of ministries and other lucrative positions. The Balochistan National Party (BNP) and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) may possibly not join the cabinet on Tuesday, as the BNP has accused the government of not preventing violent incidents in the province, such as the recent firing on protesters in Chagai. However, the government’s spokesperson, Ms Aurangzeb, said the list of cabinet members had yet to be finalised, hinting at the possibility of last-minute changes being made before the oath-taking ceremony. Similarly, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has demanded holding of immediate general elections after the non-fulfillment of his demands regarding distribution of ministries and some constitutional posts like the offices of the president and Senate chairman. However, PML-N leader Khawaja Asif claimed that all reservations of the coalition partners had been addressed and the oath-taking ceremony would be held on Tuesday. He revealed the names of some of the PML-N leaders who were set to take up ministries in the new cabinet: Ahsan Iqbal is likely to get the Ministry of Planning and Development, Azam Nazir Tarar law, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi energy, while Ayaz Sadiq will get the Ministry of Economic Affairs. ACL0959

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