PESHAWAR - Speculations gained momentum regarding change of portfolio of Provincial Health Minister Shaukat Yousafzi as well as induction of new ministers in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet to fill the five vacant posts after the Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) pulled out of the coalition government in the province.

Sources in the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) confirmed this development and said that the names of nominated ministers have come to surface but their respective portfolios would be officially announced later. He said that the decision has been taken during a meeting of PTI's MPAs and MNAs with Imran Khan as several departments are still without portfolios after the pullout of QWP.

The vacant posts include the post of QWP Senior Minister Sikandar Sherpao, the slain PTI minister Israrullah Gandapur, sacked QWP minister Bakht Baidar and another QWP sacked minister Ibrar Hussain. The names of nominated ministers for these portfolios include Mahmood Jan, MPA from PK-VII Peshawar, Fazl Ilahi from PK-1V Peshawar, Akbar Ayub Khan from Haripoor PK-50 while Arif Yousaf is expected to replace Deputy Speaker Imtiaz Shahid, MPA from PK-38 Kohat.

It is also under consideration that Provincial Health Minister Shaukat Yousafzi would also be replaced with a new face to further improve efficiency of the department. However, it was not confirmed when the decision is expected to take place.

Sources said that KP health minister has also paid a surprise visit to Islamabad where he would exchange his reservations with PTI Chairman Imran Khan in Bani Gala. The names and portfolios of these ministers would be officially announced at the central secretariat of the party.

It is pertinent to mention here that the change of portfolio of the health minister would put the provincial government in hot waters because the minister has launched several health projects and his replacement would affect these projects. 

PTI Provincial General Secretary Khalid Maswood said that so far no decision was taken to fix responsibilities and portfolios to new comers and this will be announced after proper deliberation at the central secretariat.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan has already directed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak to judge performance of all ministers and MPAs. He reiterated that no compromise would be made on the agenda of change.  He said that if any minister was found involved in transfer and posting or forcing bureaucracy on any matter against the public interest would be expelled from the party.