LAHORE - The Punjab government is mulling induction of more ministers in the provincial cabinet while at least its four members are likely to face sacking on account of their poor performance.
Sources in the government say that at least eight more ministers are expected to be inducted in the provincial cabinet after final approval by the chief minister. After thorough probe by the relevant quarters these eight persons have been found suitable for the ministerial slots. These are Jamal Khan Leghari from Dera Ghazi Khan, Zaeeem Hussain Qadri, Rana Muhammad Arshad and Khawaja Salman Rafiq from Lahore, Ayesha Ghaus Pasha and Lt-Col (r) Sardar Ayub Khan from Toba Tek Singh, Malik Muhammad Khan from Kasur and Muhammad Mansha Ullah Butt from Sialkot.
Khawaja Salman Rafiq, the younger brother of Federal Minister for Railways Saad Rafiq, at present is special adviser to the chief minister on health while Rana Muhammad Arshad is parliamentary secretary on information and culture. Zaeem Qadri has served as special adviser to the CM on education in the last government of Shahbaz Sharif. Sardar Jamal Khan Leghari, a son of former president Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari, who joined the PML-N after the election, had been promised place in the provincial cabinet.
The current strength of the Punjab cabinet is 19 and the sources say four ministers’ performance is being considered as unsatisfactory and may be sacked or given any other portfolios.
In view of the commitment of the chief minister to retain only the ministers with satisfactory performance, chances are bleak that these ministers will continue to remain part of the cabinet, add the sources who do not rule out possibility of reshuffle of some important ministers even if the poor performers are booted out.
The sources, sharing another likely development, say that former law minister Rana Sana Ullah who quit on June 20 on the orders of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to ensure impartial judicial inquiry into the June 17 killings of Minhajul Quran workers may again find place in the cabinet in case he is given a clean chit by the Lahore High Court commission about his role in the incident.
The sources say the cabinet expansion is expected by the end of Ramazan and if a favourable report is given by the commission about Rana Sana, he may rejoin the cabinet. According to the sources, the size of the cabinet may rise to 25 ministers.