New Punjab Cabinet
After a lot of political chaos and uncertainty, it appears that some semblance of normalcy will be returning soon to Punjab as it is being reported that PTI chairman Imran Khan and Chief Minister Parvez Elahi have shortlisted 21 lawmakers to be taken in the first round of the Punjab cabinet. According to reports, the major ministries have been assigned to the same PTI leaders who had these portfolios during Usman Buzdar’s tenure and only PTI ministers will be taking the oath during the first phase.
Even though two PML-Q ministers were part of the cabinet led by Mr Buzdar, this time around no member from the party has been inducted into the cabinet. The two sides appear to be on the same page about this as PML-Q leader Moonis Elahi has stated that they are not seeking any portfolios after securing the Punjab CM slot.
The former premier of Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar has been appointed as the parliamentary leader in the provincial assembly. In addition to this, Dr Yasmin Rashid is set to retake the health portfolio, Mian Aslam Iqbal is expected to get the Ministry of Housing and Works, Mian Mahmood-ur-Rasheed Ministry of Local Government and Dr Murad Ras will be resuming his role at the Ministry of Education.
This is an encouraging development considering how the government in the largest province of the country was paralysed for the last couple of months due to the ongoing political turmoil. At last, it appears that the government will be back on track and that daily governance will be resumed. What remains to be seen is how the provincial and federal governments engage with each other going forward. The hope is that both sides accept the political reality, and can compartmentalise and set aside political disagreements to ensure the smooth functioning of the government machinery.