Pakistan

Shafqat Mahmood slams size of new federal cabinet

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shafqat Mahmood slammed on Friday the size of the federal cabinet, saying it laid credence to the fact that there were rifts within the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) ranks.

Addressing a press conference, the PTI leader said that the PML-N tried to please its leaders, who were unhappy with the leadership, by giving them portfolios.

Earlier this morning, President Mamnoon Hussain administered oath to the new cabinet comprising 27 federal ministers and 16 state ministers.

“Khawaja Asif, who was given the portfolio of foreign affairs, had no distinct relation with diplomacy. Khurram Dastagir, the new defence ministry, didn’t know the ABC of the ministry,” Shafqat said.

He said Chaudhry Nisar, former interior minister, desired the portfolio of foreign affairs, but he was sidelined. Whereas Danyal Aziz was not rewarded for his services to the party. He added, “those who were part of Maryam Nawaz’s media cell have been incorporated in the new cabinet.”

The ruling party blew the trumpet of holding institutions in high esteem, but on the contrary its leaders were openly criticizing the judiciary, he said and added despite having been disqualified by the Supreme Court, ousted primer minister Nawaz Sharif was still making constitutional decisions.

Shafqat said derogatory remarks were being made about Supreme Court’s Justice Ajazul Ahsan and those so-called defenders of the human rights were spewing venom against the judiciary.

He said that PTI was not against the formation of a parliamentary committee to probe the allegations of MNA Ayesha Gulalai, but it cannot be transparent because it would include members of the ruling party.

He slammed Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif for shying away from contesting by-elections for the National Assembly seat which fell vacant following the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif. Dr Yasmin Rashid, who accompanied the PTI leader during the presser,  accused the PML-N of indulging in pre-poll rigging.

PTI has pitched Yasmin to contest the election in NA-120.

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