Punjab govt decides to expand provincial cabinet

Chief minister Shahbaz Sharif chaired the Punjab cabinet meeting.

LAHORE: The Punjab government on Wednesday decided to expand the provincial cabinet and include new ministries.

According to sources, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the coalition members of the assembly will be given ministries – while the PML-Q’s unification bloc will not be given any ministry.

The expected new ministers in the Punjab cabinet are Yawar Zaman from Okara, Chaudhry Ayaz from Rawalpindi, Chaudhry Shafique from Rahim Yar Khan and Shahzadi Umer Tiwana from Sargodha. The cabinet may also include Zaeem Qadri from Lahore, Rana Afzal from Faisalabad and Ali Haider Noor Niazi from Mianwali.

The Punjab government also demanded the federal government to convene a session of the Council of Common Interests within a week and shift powers to the provinces, warning that it would move the Supreme Court if this did not happen.

This demand was raised during the meeting of the Punjab cabinet held in Lahore on Wednesday with chief minister Shahbaz Sharif in the chair.

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah told reporters after the meeting that provinces have been handed over ordinary subjects and that the federal government has kept to itself all billion-rupee funds. Sanaullah said the government should also give other rights to the provinces besides ministries under the Concurrent List, otherwise the PML-N has every right to move the court. The provincial minister said the PML-N will also challenge the AJK elections in High Court and demand new elections with correct voters’ lists.

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