With rumours doing the rounds in the capital of yet another reshuffle in the federal cabinet, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf’s (PTI) indecision regarding its choice of ministers is detrimental to the overall functioning of the executive. The bloated cabinet of Imran Khan might now be reshuffled for a second time in just one year, which reflects the Prime Minister’s lack of confidence in his advisors and ministers and the inability of the government to stick to its choices once they have been made.

Contrary to what the Prime Minister claims, reshuffling the cabinet or constantly changing his mind on key decisions does not reflect growth, but a failure to make effective choices on the first few attempts. There are currently too many advisors and ministers, and some of them are not seen to be dispensing with their duties effectively, which adds to the uncertainty and confusion in running the country. Added to that, there is the problem of not sticking to a decision once it has been made, and chopping and changing the cabinet without allowing any of the ministers enough time to deliver.

With this uncertainty at the top, the government cannot expect bureaucrats and the employees of each ministry to dispense of their duties effectively, especially since a sudden change of heart of the Prime Minister might result in a new boss and a shift in the decisions made by state ministries. Any decision made over the past year under a different minister might be completely changed with a new representative now handling the portfolio; the governmet is not only making decisions at an ad-hoc basis, but there is also essentially no guarantee that any move made over the past year might not be reversed suddenly at the whims of a new minister or advisor to the Prime Minister.

The PTI has also always claimed that it holds the principle of meritocracy above all else, but this claim rings hollow when you have Zartaj Gul as the Climate Change Minister and Fawad Chaudhry leading the Science Ministry, even though both have no experience or education that makes them capable of handling their portfolios. Not only that, but the government is repeating the mistakes of its predecessors by reinstating problematic ministers after they were publicly sacked for various reasons; individuals such as Faisal Vawda and Fayyaz Chohan still in power tells us that the ruling party will stick with supporting its own members rather than look out for the best interest of the people and the country at large.

The Prime Minister must take his time in deciding if he wants to reshuffle the cabinet on this occasion, and try and choose members that are competent, instead of picking based on services for the party only. Once a team has been chosen, sticking to it and giving it time to govern must be allowed for, or the ruling party risks not making the major improvements it has promised to do so.