–PML-Q MNA likely to be given food ministry, instead of industries
ISLAMABAD: Although Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) after an agreement with ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) will be getting one more ministry in the federal cabinet, the former is unlikely to get its ‘desired’ ministry of industries.
According to sources, the ruling party has convinced PML-Q to choose any ministry other than that of industries as it wants to keep key ministries including finance, commerce, energy, petroleum and industries in its hand.
Chaudhry Moonis Elahi, who is a son of Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, is likely to get the food security and research ministry with an expected reshuffling in the cabinet, insiders claimed, adding that the PML-Q MNA has agreed to accept the said ministry.
“Elahi has been informed that all attached departments with the ministry of industries will be shifted to ‘Sarmaya Pakistan Company’ along with other state-owned enterprises. The industry ministry will be left as only policy-making body after development,” said sources claiming that foreseeing the future of the ministry, the PML-Q leader has agreed to go for alternatives.
The sources also claimed since Prime Minister Imran Khan is not happy with the performance of some ministries including the national food security and research. The option of getting the food ministry has been given to PML-Q while Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan, who presently holds this portfolio, may get an alternative ministry.
According to sources, Adviser to PM for Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood also does not want to lose his ministry as he considers industrial policies and operations directly linked with the overall trade activities. While commerce and industry are a single ministry in many other countries of the world, bigger ministries have been broken down to adjust more lawmakers in the cabinet by previous ruling parties, sources argued.
It merits a mention here that PTI and PML-Q, after ending differences over their share in the coalition government, had agreed on continuing partnership and running the government affairs through discussion in Centre and Punjab. Apart from other arrangements being made to remove the differences, the two sides had also agreed to give one more ministry to PML-Q in the federal government.
PTI, which lacks majority both in the Center and Punjab, needs the support of PML-Q to ensure its government. The PML-Q, despite having a handful of MNAs and MPAs, remains in a strong position as the PTI had formed the Punjab government with the help of 10 PML-Q lawmakers.
The PML-Q ministers, both in Centre and Punjab, were previously unhappy as they were not being granted authority. They, according to sources, had also complained to their party leaders that they were being kept in the dark on every matter and decision of the government.
Despite repeated attempts, PML-Q leaders could not be contacted for comments.