LAHORE - After remaining in political wilderness for over a year, senior PTI leader Aleem Khan will get back his ministerial portfolio in the Punjab cabinet on Monday (today). 

The development comes after a meeting between Aleem Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar which reportedly took place on behest of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Sources said Aleem Khan is going to be restored on his previous position of Senior Minister along with the portfolio of local government department.  He will also be given the portfolio of Food department which fell vacant after resignation of Sami Ullah Ch last week. These two ministries are currently lying vacant. He may also be given the additional charge of P&D department, said the sources seeking anonymity.

Sources said that Aleem Khan will take oath as Senior Minister within a day or two as the Chief Minister has directed his staff to start working on it.

Aleem Khan was in the news again last week after reports of his alleged contacts with the PML-N leadership though he vehemently denied the news terming it fabricated. 

It may be recalled here that Aleem Khan resigned as Senior Minister on February 6, 2019 after he was nabbed by the Accountability Bureau in cases pertaining to assets beyond his known sources of income and an offshore company. Later, the Lahore High Court granted him bail on May 15, 2019. The court had also stopped the accountability court from hearing the case till filing of a proper reference by the anti-graft body.

Interestingly, the NAB neither challenged Aleem Khan’s bail nor it filed the reference against him after confirmation of his bail plea. The NAB has not proceeded any further on this case till date. Meanwhile, an official handout issued after the meeting said that Chief Minister and Aleem Khan discussed matters of mutual interest, current political scenario and steps being taken by the government to cope up with coronavirus pandemic.

Both leaders also slammed the Opposition for doing politics on the national issue of coronavirus pandemic.  “Opposition should come to know loud and clear that public service cannot be done merely by giving statements”, said the Chief Minister who also emphasized that the PTI leadership was standing shoulder to shoulder with the masses to effectively deal with coronavirus pandemic.  Former Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan alleged that Opposition was trying to disunite the nation in this hour of trial.

He further stated that it was time to raise the morale of people by providing them all out assistance and displaying noble gestures. “The Islamic religion also teaches us to render maximum help to the poor and affected Muslims in this hour of distress”, he said.