The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) interim federal cabinet took oath on Saturday at a ceremony held at the Governor House in Peshawar.
The cabinet, comprising nine provincial ministers, two advisors and one special assistant, was sworn in by K-P Governor Haji Ghulam Ali.
Syed Masood Shah, Barrister Feroze Jamal Shah Kakakhel, Justice (retd) Irshad Qaiser, Ahmed Rasood Bangash, Asif Rafiq, Dr Najibullah, Dr Muhammad Qasim Jan, Justice (retd) Irshad Hussain Shah and Syed Aamir Abdullah are among those who took oath.
Caretaker Chief Minister Azam Khan, inspector-general of police (IGP) and other high ranking officials were present on the occasion.
The carefully curated cabinet is a response to the challenges posed by the previous caretaker administration’s perceived political involvement.
Former interim ministers appointed after the K-P assembly was dissolved in protest in January 2023 on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief’s Imran Khan instructions, resigned en masse on August 10 on the call of interim CM Khan.
The previous caretaker cabinet comprised 26 members, including ministers, advisers and special assistants.
The caretaker cabinet and the government’s team was constantly under pressure amid allegations that the ministers were involved in political activities.
Since its installation, the set-up saw several reshuffles in the last six months, with the Election Commission of Pakistan eventually directing the CM in July to sack all those ‘involved in politics’.
The previous K-P cabinet and the government’s team was constantly under pressure amid allegations that the ministers were involved in political activities.
Khushdil Khan Malik was the first to be shown the door for not fulfilling the conditions related to his retirement. Later, Adnan Jalil was dismissed because of the conflict between his the Awami National Party (ANP) and the governor.
Afterwards, Shahid Khattak was dismissed from the post of transport minister, for playing politics. However, he has been awarded ticket by the ANP to contest election from a Nowshera constituency.
It is stated that several K-P caretakers ministers were related to political personalities linked to the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and allied parties.
Sources said that Financial Adviser Himayatullah Khan retired from the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) and had worked with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for four years.
Former Senator Haji Ghufran of the Qaumi Watan Party (QWP), and Rehmat Salam Khattak, Hamid Shah and Manzoor Afridi were reportedly linked to the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI).
Special Assistant on Zakat an Ushr Salma Begum is the sister of former minister Satara Ayaz, who had recently joined the PTI Parliamentarians, while another Special Assistant Malik Mehr Ellahi is a close associate of Governor Ghulam Ali.
Hidayatullah Afridi is the brother of Ziaullah Afridi of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), while Shafiullah is the cousin of the former PPP provincial president Najamuddin Khan. Information Minister Kakakhel is also seen as close to the PPP.
Taj Afridi, is the brother of Shah Gul Afridi, who has recently joined the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). The party also backs Muhammad Ali Shah and Bakht Nawaz.
Abdul Halim Kasuria, who belongs to Dera Ismail Khan, is considered to be close to Maulana Fazlur Rehman of the JUI-F, while Fazal Elahi is considered close to Governor Ghulam Ali.
Jarar Hussain Bukhari is the son of PPP Central Secretary General Nayyar Hussain Bukhari, who was transferred from Islamabad to K-P and made part of the cabinet as an adviser.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th2023.