One is at a loss for words to censure the induction of more ministers into the federal cabinet increasing its size to 55. The portfolios have yet to be assigned but the choice of the ministers indicates that the PPP setup considers itself accountable to no one, not even the ‘court of public’, which is a constant refrain of its apologists for its Supreme Court’s defiance.

The induction of former Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf makes a travesty of the Supreme Court orders that had declared him as one of the accused in the RPPs scam and ordered the authorities to launch investigations against him. What feats will he be able to perform in the remaining months is anyone’s guess since already he has done systematic damage to the country’s energy sector. It appears this is his reward for throwing the entire country into the Dark Ages of endless power outages. There are likewise certain other ministers whose performance in the previous stint is tainted with corruption and gross mismanagement. It is a crying shame that instead of initiating punishments against such individuals as per law they have again been brought on to the helm of governance. Is this the rule of law and respect for judiciary Prime Minister Gilani claims of? In fact if ever there was a government dishing favours to its loyalists and cronies no matter how errant and no matter mow much against Supreme Court’s orders, the PPP setup would figure at the top. Critics rightly argue that this is something that also accounts for its survival in the face of rising popular frustration. In the process, the 18th Amendment, which the PPP leadership never tires of harping on, also stands brazenly violated. The inductions negates the very purpose of the amendment particularly that of devolving powers to the provinces. Since most of the ministerial vacancies previously with the federal dispensation are now the domain of the provinces, these inductions were uncalled for. The impact it is going to have on the already squeezed national exchequer would also be harmful. There is hardly any doubt that more ministers means wasteful expenditure of funds, perks and privileges and increased official paraphernalia not to mention opening up new avenues of corruption.

The prevailing despair, poverty and a vortex of maelstroms that the country has been hurled into has given birth to social disturbances and restlessness. If this is what the PPP intends to repeat during its last quarter then one can only wish the people and the country good luck.