KARACHI - A day after Syed Murad Ali Shah was sworn in as the Sindh chief minister, his 17 member-cabinet, comprising nine ministers, four advisers and as many special assistants took oath yesterday.

Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan administered oath to the ministers during a ceremony held at the Governor’s House. The names of the ministers are: Makhdoom Jameel-uz-Zaman, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Sohail Anwar Siyal, Jam Khan Shoro, Mukesh Kumar Chawla, Shamim Mumtaz, Jam Mehtab Dahar, Dr Sikandar Mahendaro and Sardar Ali Shah

Saeed Ghani, Asghar Junejo, Maula Bux Chandio and Murtaza Wahab were taken advisers in the provincial cabinet. Similarly, Dr Khatu Mal Jiwani, Erum Khalid, Syed Ghulam Shah Jilani and Dr Sikander Shoro took oath as special assistants.

Syed Murad Ai Shah, soon after getting elected as the leader of the house to become the 25th chief minister of Sindh, said serving the people was his top priority. He also expressed his determination to improve the law and order. It was expected that he would introduce new faces in the cabinet, but surprisingly, he retained those who had failed to deliver and those who were controversial in the outgoing cabinet of Syed Qaim Ali Shah. Jam Khan Shoro who had miserably failed as the local government minister and Makhdoom Jameel-uz-zaman who was allegedly responsible for deaths of hundreds of newborns in Tharparkar were also retained in the cabinet.

The main question before the public and the chief minister himself would be how much power he would wield while running the province which allegedly was poorly run by the top hierarchy of PPP in the past. Karachi-born and foreign-qualified Syed Murad Ali Shah knows the first impression would be the last impression and that he would have to show something to trigger the praise of the citizens.

Certainly, removing barricade from the CM House, he has shown that he is a public man. Not only that he is a foreign-qualified and soft spoken person like his predecessor, he is different from the old lot, but to prove it, he has to act so that the people can see that his is really different from others.

Adding the name of Saeed Ghani to the list of advisers, he has brought a good person who has soft image and is media friendly. He has a good team with Moula Bux Chandio and Murtaza Wahab, son of PPP stalwart, the late Fauzia Wahab.

Senior analyst Jami Chandio, welcoming the change in the Sindh government, said mere change of faces was not enough; the real issue was how much authority/powers Asif Ali Zardari would give to the chief minister and his cabinet to run the affairs of government independently. He said though Syed Qaim Ali Shah was an aged man, he was not totally responsible for the last eight years of bad government.

How a chief executive of the province and his cabinet could deliver and come to the expectations when all decisions were taken at Dubai, he said.

He said it was good that PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had realised the prevailing situation in Sindh and had chosen an educated and energetic man like Murad Ali Shah for the chief minister’s slot, but he should be given a free hand. He said it was a democratic norm that a political party always gave vision, guideline and targets to the government and gave it a free hand, but here the situation was different; the government was being run from abroad. Jami, however, hoped sanity would prevail in the PPP hierarchy to give powers to the new chief minister to run the affairs independently on merit.