PPP offers one ministry each to allies in new cabinet

PPP has offered one ministry each to coalition partners & prospective allies.

Lahore: The ruling Pakistan People`s Party
has offered one ministry each to coalition partners and
prospective allies in a new cabinet to be formed by Prime
Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani following the dissolution of the
existing council of ministers on Wednesday.

"We have offered one ministry each to the Awami
National Party, Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam
and Pakistan Muslim League-Functional in the first phase of
forming a new cabinet," PPP spokeswoman Fauzia Wahab said.

Gilani announced the dissolution of his cabinet after
all federal ministers submitted their resignations during a
meeting chaired by the premier this afternoon.

The premier will now form a new cabinet as part of an
exercise to refurbish the image of his government, which has
been dogged by charges of corruption and inefficiency.

The downsizing of the cabinet is also mandated by a
landmark constitutional reforms package passed by parliament
last year.

Wahab said though the MQM and JUI had not yet decided
to return to the cabinet, the PPP is hoping that they will
accept ministries in the new set-up.

She said the formation of the new cabinet is likely to
be announced by tomorrow.

The JUI walked out of the PPP-led coalition at the
centre after Prime Minister Gilani sacked one of its ministers
last year.

The MQM withdrew its ministers from the cabinet,
saying it was not being consulted on key decisions made by the

A senior PPP leader, who did not want to be named,
said heavyweights in the previous cabinet like Interior
Minister Rehman Malik, Labour Minister Khurshid Shah, Defence
Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Power Minister Raja Pervez
Ashraf and Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira were "going

"President Asif Ali Zardari has already assured these
big guns of their place in the new cabinet," the leader said.

Main opposition PML-N spokesman Pervaiz Rashid that his party had already informed the PPP leadership
that all ministers in the dissolved cabinet facing corruption
charges should not be included in the new one.

"We have objections to the tainted ministers. Now it
is up to the PPP leadership what criteria it has in mind for
selecting new ministers," he said.

The PML-N has given a 10-point reforms agenda to the
PPP, which includes a demand to remove corrupt ministers.

The PML-N has set February 24 as deadline for
implementing this agenda.

If the deadline is not met, the PML-N has warned it
will throw out the PPP from the coalition government in