LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif yesterday included 11 new ministers in his cabinet, besides appointing four new advisers.

The total number of ministers in the provincial cabinet comes to 31 following the expansion which the analysts believe has been made keeping in view the next general elections.

Besides strengthening party position in some constituencies, the move also aims at preventing the disgruntled elements from joining other parties. Some of the new ministers were reportedly not happy with the leadership for being ignored for long.

Before the new inductions, the provincial cabinet has 20 ministers, three advisers and five special assistants. The new ministers will take oath of their offices on Monday (today).

They include Jehangir Khanzada, Syed Zaeem Qadri, Sheikh Alauddin, Khawaja Salman Rafique, Mehar Ejaz Ahmad, Malik Ahmad Yar Hanjra, Muhammad Manshaullah Butt, Naghma Mushtaq, Syed Raza Ali Gilani, Amanullah Khan Shadikhail and Muhammad Naeem Akhtar Khan.

The portfolios of the new ministers would be announced later.

The four new advisers include Khawaja Imran Nazir, Rana Maqbool, Muhammad Ahmad Khan and Rana Muhammad Arshad. They will enjoy the status of a provincial minister.

Currently, the chief minister is keeping the portfolios of home, local government, health, information, S&GAD and livestock & dairy department with himself.

Apart from this, three ministers are holding additional charge of other departments, besides their own.

Tanvir Aslam is holding additional charge of communication and works, Zakia Shah Nawaz is holding the additional charge of environment protection and higher education and Asif Saeed Manais is holding the additional charge of youth affairs, sports, archaeology and tourism departments.

Of these notified new ministers, Khawaja Salman Rafique was already working as adviser to the chief minister for health. He is likely to get this portfolio. Zaeem Qadri is acting as Punjab Government’s spokesperson and he may be assigned the department of information.

Khawaja Imran was working as parliamentary secretary for health, Naghma Mushtaq as parliamentary secretary for population welfare and Rana Arshad as parliamentary secretary for information.

Rana Maqbool who has been appointed as adviser was working as special assistant to the chief minister on prosecution department.

Jehangir Khanzada is son of Col (R) Shuja Khanzada who was assassinated by terrorists last year. He was then holding the portfolio of home department. Jehangir belongs to Attock where he will be facing a political challenge from Major Tahir Sadiq of PML-Q in the next elections.

Five ministers have been taken from southern Punjab and less developed districts. They include Naghma Mushtaq from Multan, Malik Ahmad Yar Hanjra from Muzaffargarh, Muhammad Naeem Akhtar from Vehari, Mehar Ejaz from Layya and Amanullah Khan Shadikhail from Mianwali.

Manshallah Butt, a close friend of Hamza Shehbaz Sharif belongs to Sialkot district. Rana Arshad who has been appointed adviser to the chief minister is from Nankana.

Sheikh Alauddin and Muhammad Ahmad Khan are from Kasur while Syed Raza Ali Gilani belongs to Okara district. In the new arrangement, six ministers which include Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, Khawaja Salman Rafique, Syed Zaeem Qadri, Khawaja Imran Nazir, Bilal Yasin and Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan belong to Lahore.