New cabinet of 15 to take oath today

ISLAMABAD: Having Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani’s advice President Asif Ali Zardari Thursday accepted federal ministers’ resignations, enabling notification of a cut to the size cabinet as 15 of them are most likely to take oath again on Friday.

Lucky ones that are most likely to stay as members of the federal cabinet are none other than the already guessed by all and sundry. According to well placed sources, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Rehman Malik, Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Syed Khurshid Shah, Babar Awan, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Mir Hazar Bajarani Nazar Muhammad Gondal, Naveed Qamar, Shaukat Ullah, Ghulam Ahmad Bilour and Abdul Hafeez Sheikh are most likely to take oath again.

Mutahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam (JUI-F) had already refused to rejoin the cabinet. However President and Prime Minister have approved name of Ghulam Ahmad Bilour from its coalition partner ANP. At the same time the PPP has taken Shaukatullah from FATA in place Hameedullah Jan Afridi who as Federal Minister for Environment in the previous cabinet. The portfolios of the federal ministers are expected to be changed, sources said.

Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar has confirmed that the resignations of the cabinet members. He said some of the cabinet members would take oath today at Presidency.

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