Lahore-A day before the expected oath-taking of the provincial cabinet, Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi on Friday appointed four special assistants and three advisors including Ayaz Khan Niazi of the NICL scandal fame.

Former Punjab governor Omer Sarfraz Cheema and Nawabzada Waseem Khan Badozai have also been picked up as advisors. Badozai is a PTI MPA who belongs to a landlord family of Multan.

Ayaz Khan Niazi was the chairman of National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) when he sold out state land to Mohsin Habib’s Warriach’s company allegedly for peanuts. The Rs6 billion NICL scam surfaced in 2009-10. However, in January 2020, an accountability court exonerated him and all the co-accused in the corruption scam involving billions of rupees.

Also, Syed Rafaqat Ali Gilani, a PTI MPA from Layyah, Taimoor Ali Lali, a PTI MPA from Chiniot, M Afzal a PML-Q MPA from Bahawalpur and Khurram Manj, a former MNA from Sheikhupura have been appointed as special assistant to the chief minister.

Of these, Rafaqat Gilani has already served as special assistant to CM on Auqaf and Religious affairs under Sardar Usman Buzdar. Khurram Manj who is son of former MPA Munawar Manj contested the 2018 election as an independent candidate from NA-121. He secured 29384 votes and stood third in the election race. M Saeed Virk of the PTI was the runner up with 71512 votes as against 101684 of PML-N’s Javid Latif who won this seat. Khurram Manj was once in the PPP and was elected MNA on PPP ticket in 2002 election from NA-134.

Meanwhile, the chief minister has sent a summary to the Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman containing names of 21 MPAs who have been nominated as provincial ministers. Parvez has desired administering of oath by the governor to the nominated ministers at 11am on Saturday (today).

cm approves rs20m grant for lpc

Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi has approved the grant of Rs20 million for Lahore Press Club and directed the information secretary to release the grant. Lahore Press Club President Azam Chaudhry and Secretary General Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists Rana M Azeem called on the chief minister.

The CM vowed to launch the second phase of journalist colony, saying the proposal for the construction of apartments for journalists was being reviewed. He announced to visit the journalist colony himself to distribute possession letters of F-Block. The process of the welfare of the journalists will start from where it was left off, he said.

“Journalists are our brethren and their problems will be solved on a priority basis”, he added. Azam Chaudhry and Rana Azeem thanked the chief minister and termed him a friend of the journalists for always supporting the journalists community.

Former governor Omer Sarfraz Cheema also among advisors