Nine caretaker ministers of KP take oath

PESHAWAR  -  Nine caretaker minis­ters of Khyber Pakh­tunkhwa took the oath of their offices on Sat­urday amid a caretaker setup largely managed by Governor Ghulam Ali. Governor Ghulam Ali ad­ministered the oath to the new interim cabinet at the Governor House, where Caretaker Chief Minister Mohammad Azam Khan, IGP Akhtar Hayat Khan, and offi­cials from various gov­ernment departments were also present.

The ministers include Syed Masud Shah, Bar­rister Feroze Jamal Shah Kakakhel, retired Justice Irshad Qaiser, Ahmad Ra­sool Bangash, Asif Rafiq, Dr Najeebullah, Dr Mo­hammad Qasim Jan, re­tired Justice Arshad Hussain Shah, and Syed Aamir Abdullah. Addi­tionally, Dr Riaz Anwar and Dr Sarfaraz Ali Shah will serve as advisers to the CM, while Zafarullah Khan will be a special as­sistant. Due to their al­leged participation in politics, 19 members of the previous caretaker administration submit­ted their resignations to the CM on August 10. The other six members left the next day.

On July 31, the ECP sent the caretaker CM a letter informing him that Arti­cle 218(3) of the Consti­tution requires his ad­ministration to arrange and conduct elections in a free, fair, transpar­ent, and impartial man­ner. It stated that all of Khan’s cabinet members involved in politics had to be removed. On August 12, Governor Ghulam Ali accepted the resignations of 11 CM assistants, six special assistants, and 14 ministers, including five advisers and six special assistants.

Masud Shah, Kakakhel, retired Justice Qaiser, and Dr Anwar are famil­iar faces in the current government because they were previously mem­bers of the previous care­taker ministry. Former Chief Justice of the Gilg­it-Baltistan Supreme Ap­pellate Court and a mem­ber of the Hazara ethnic group, retired Justice Qa­iser also held the posi­tion of Pakistan’s deputy attorney general. 

Zafarullah is a former police officer, while Mo­hammad Qasim Jan spe­cializes in education.

Dr Najeebullah is the founding director of the US-Pakistan Centre for Advanced Studies in En­ergy and holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge. He has also worked as a consultant for the UNDP, served as the project director of the University of Engineer­ing and Applied Sciences, Swat, and created a 10-year energy plan for the former Fata.

Dr Najeebullah has re­cently been serving as a member (Science, Tech­nology, and ICT) at the Pakistani Planning Com­mission.

It’s worth mention­ing that rumours about a change of governor and chief minister have also been circulating for the last several weeks. The interim chief minister, Azam Khan, being an el­derly person, often re­mains off the scene, and official matters, and Gov­ernor Ghulam is accused of influencing all govern­ment affairs. The leaders of ANP, PPP, and PMLN have recently issued statements criticizing the governor for allegedly in­fluencing the caretaker setup and upcoming elec­tions in favour of his par­ty in Peshawar and other districts.

However, the governor has told the media that because the chief min­ister is a senior citizen and cannot attend to all affairs, he has to handle many things himself out of compulsion.

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