KP cabinet reshuffling or something else: time to re-think

So far three advisors to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister have resigned from their offices whereas several others are said to be in pipeline. So far no anyone from ruling Pakistan Tehrik Insaaf has made public reasons or purposes of these resignations, but insiders believes that some of them have been forced to resign on the charges of their involvement in corruption, nepotism and misuse of offices whereas some others have been shown the doors due to their adjustment with party or leaders policies.

According to media reports, advisor to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister, Kamran Bangash has termed the resignations, part of reshuffling of cabinet. Bangash said, “ the cabinet is now extended in according to constitution limits after the induction of four ministers, as they would replace four ministers, who had left the cabinet earlier.

Prior to Senate polls held on March 3, 2021 last, two ministers included Liaqat Khattak and Law Minister Sultan Muhammad Khan have been removed from offices on two different charges, Khattak, brother of Pervez Khattak had lost the job due to rifts with the later whereas Sultan suffered for his alleged involvement in 2018 Senate polls. Despite losing the ministerial offices, both of them are not only maintaining loyal to the party but even they has casted votes in favour of party candidates in Senate polls, held on March 3 last.

Reshuffling of cabinets in PTI government at federal and provincial level is a routine since its empowering in August 2018 last. But the process of resignations at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, telling something else. Earlier three ministers Atif Khan, Sharam Khan and Shakil Khan have been removed on the charges of inefficiencies, incompetence, nepotism and misuse of powers, when they alleged initiated attempts of a revolt against Chief Minister Mahmood Khan. Later they were followed with ousting of Ajmal Wazir on the charges, which was set aside by an Inquiry committee. And removal of Liaqat Khattak and Sultan Muhammad Khan was third in the series.

So far the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor has accepted resignations of Zia Ullah Bangash, Ghazan Jamal and Himayat Ullah but there are reports of further resignations. A few ministers have also been asked by party high command, no other than Prime Minister Imran Khan to resign but efforts for their rescuing is underway. At least four provincial ministers (who are occupants of offices till going to press) have been found guilty of involvement in corruption and corrupt practices, in according to intelligence reports. And Prime Minister Imran Khan has reportedly asked for their removal from cabinet offices but all of them are making efforts for their survival. For the purposes, they using different channels.

Whatever might be claims and justifications of ruling PTI regarding resignations but there are reports about further induction of a few “blue eyed” in the cabinet. Besides others, Federal Defense Minister and Ex-Chief Minister Pervez Khattak wants replacement of his brother Liaqat Khattak by son Ibrahim Khattak. Likewise, Speaker of National Assembly Asad Qaisar is desirous to please his younger brother Aqib Ullah Khan with a ministerial level office in the provincial cabinet. Earlier, Northern Areas minister Ali Amin Gandhapur was succeeded in induction of his brother Faisal Amin Gandhapur in provincial cabinet. Faisal Amin had administered oath of his office along with Atif Khan, Shakeel Khan and Fazal Shakoor. Only Fazal Shakoor from Charsada has got the portfolio of Law whereas the rest three yet to get assignments.

Former MQM Senator from Sindh, Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif is likely to get a berth in the provincial cabinet as Advisor for Information. Belong to Swabi, Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif remain in good books of former military dictator Gen. Musharaf and on such grounds he had got a berth in Upper House on MQM ticket in 2015 Senate polls. On the expiry of his term, he was one amongst the aspirants for retaining the seat with help of Baluchistan Awami Party like Awami National Party’s dissident Sitara Ayaz but failed. Saif had filed nomination papers from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but later called it back and now in return, he is one amongst the possible nominees to be inducted in the cabinet.

Insiders informed that some of the cabinet members becoming a serious issue for soft-spoken and decent minded Chief Minister Mahmood. One who is occupant of two important portfolios is reluctant to vacate any of it. Likewise two other ministers from Northern regions, who are ahead with the “adjustment” issue, are seems “liability” for the chief minister. Likewise, another minister from Peshawar and two from Hazara region believe be plague for no other than ruling PTI high command.

In fact, majority of ruling PTI leaders, especially MP’s are either new or remain part of different political parties, ideologies and beliefs. They lacking understanding and adjustment with each others, which has made hard the work for Premier Imran Khan and a few of his aides, who accompanying him since inception of PTI in early 90’s. Likewise, Premier Imran Khan’s policies towards rest of political contemporaries has also enhanced his compulsions and dependence in these scattered minded party MP’s.

Most recent development, smashing of 11-parties alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement into pieces has confirmed that opposition is no more interested in toppling or destablisation of government, therefore, Prime Minister Imran Khan needs to re-visit his government’s political policies. Instead of misusing maximum energies against opposition, PM needs to first put his own house in order, which is possible with “right man for the right job.” The country is ahead with stock of economic, administrative, security and other issues. And all such issues couldn’t be settled unless focusing on strengthening the  trends of mutual understanding, reconciliation and cooperation’s. 

Shamim Shahid

Shahmim Shahid is Peshawar-based senior political and security analyst. He can be reached at

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