PM decides to cut short size of cabinet

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has decided in principle to curtail the size of cabinet prior to expiry of date of October 13 given by Supreme Court with regard to implementation of its verdict on NRO.

A top functionary of government told Online Tuesday prime minister had decided to make a major reshuffling in his cabinet to make austerity campaign a success and in view of the prevailing situation of the country. Prime minister has taken president into confidence in this respect, he added. The list will be given final shape after President Asif Ali Zardari returns from his visit to Karachi to federal capital.

Sources told the portfolios of Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Lal Khan and Rana Farooq Saeed are likely to be changed.

Certain key leaders of PPP had proposed to president and prime minister that the portfolio of law minister be assigned to Raza Rabbani and if he does not become ready to accept it then Aitzaz Ahsan be convinced in this connection as government needed people like Mian Raza Rabbani or Aitzaz Ahsan with reference to NRO case.

Another source told that about reshuffling in cabinet that prime minister had taken on board on this matter all the coalition partners particularly Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

Sources told those who are likely to be removed or their portfolios are likely to be changed before October, 13 are sports minister Ejaz Jakhrani, state minister for interior, Tasneem Qureshi, minister for human rights, Mumtaz Hussain Gilani, culture minister Pir Aftab Shah Jilani, state minister for dairy development, live stock Jam Mangrio, state minister for food and agriculture, Rafiq Jamali, state minister for housing Anis ur Rehman and state minister for information Syed Samsamam Hussain Bokhari.

Syed Faisal Raza Abidi will replace Syed Samsamam Bokhari so that government case be presented in media effectively.

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