RE - The PML-Q ministers, who are awaiting new portfolios after the devolution of their ministries to provinces, fear they could be given less important departments and hotchpotch ministries with the expected return of MQM to the coalition.
Sources in the PML-Q privy to the developments regarding the distribution of new portfolios told this scribe that some departments of the ministries given to PML-Q members have not been devolved as they fall under Centres ambit. They said that these leftover departments will be merged with some other departments of nominal value to create new ministerial portfolios that would then be given to the PML-Qs ministers, affected due to the devolution under 18th amendment.
Sources further told that the reshaping and renaming of these departments was underway and the plan was to take a final shape in few days, but the pace of work has been slowed down due the expectations of MQMs rejoining the government coalition and coming back of resigned Sindh governor Dr Ishratul Ebad to the office. They said that the coalition government was hoping the return of MQM despite the partys prima facie rejection of rejoining the governments in Sindh as well as at the Centre.
A senior parliamentarian of PML-Q seeking anonymity told this reporter that some of their members have asked the party high command to secure a decisive role for the party in the coalition and valuable departments in the federal government, telling the Chaudhries not to weaken their bargaining position with the PPP over the Moonis Elahi issue. The party members maintained that since the prosecution witnesses have already backtracked from their statements against Moonis in the court, he would therefore get a bail sooner or later.
When asked as to why the PML-Q ministers have fears that they could end up having worthless portfolios, he said that if the MQM joined Sindh government, it would also rejoin the federal government, sooner or latter, and would demand important niches for its own people. Keeping in view MQMs comeback, the PPP would try to keep vacant the departments of MQMs choice in order to accommodate them.
Secondly, he said that some of the estranged PPP bigwigs hailing from Sindh and Punjab were also expected to be accommodated in the federal cabinet.
He said the PML-Q leadership has so far failed to get much out of its alliance with the PPP and the present situation was creating further disillusionment among the already disillusioned party members.