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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Independent MPAs in Pakhtunkhwa assembly.

MPAs in NWFP play their cards well

Friday, April 25, 2008
Nine districts have no representation in NWFP cabinet

By Khalid Kheshgi

PESHAWAR: Six independently-elected MPAs have won places in the 26-member NWFP cabinet after joining the ruling parties while another switched sides to become a provincial minister.

On the other hand, nine districts of the Frontier province have no representation in the coalition government led by the Awami National Party (ANP) and the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) whereas some districts are blessed with more than one ministry.

The Mansehra district, which has six provincial assembly constituencies, has got four ministries while Nowshera, having five seats, will have three ministers in the provincial cabinet. Abbottabad, Kohistan, Battgram, Dera Ismail Khan, Lakki Marwat, Hangu, Tank, Shangla and Dir Upper districts have no say in the NWFP government despite the fact that the ruling parties have their elected MPAs in some of these districts.

In the 26-member provincial cabinet, the ANP has 15 ministers while the PPP has 11. The ANP has accommodated three independently-elected MPAs and the PPP nominated three independents and one PPP-S MPA from its quota.

According to the power-sharing formula between the two major allies, 21 ministers were inducted into the cabinet on April 2 while five others were administered oath on April 23 in the second phase. The PML-N, one of the coalition partners at the Centre, will nominate three ministers in the existing cabinet if it agrees to join the NWFP government.

Mian Nisar Gul Kakakhel from Karak, Amjad Afridi from Kohat and Qazi Asad from Haripur, who were elected as independents in the February 18 elections, had joined the ANP and eventually got the ministerial slots. Two independents, Akhtar Nawaz Khan from Haripur and Maulvi Obaidullah from Kohistan, joined the ANP while Malik Hayat from Dir Upper, Adnan Khan Wazir from Bannu and Khalifa Abdul Qayyum from Dera Ismail Khan extended their support to the ANP, which had 31 MPAs elected on its ticket to the NWFP Assembly.

Muhammad Shuja Khan from Mansehra, Sher Azam Khan from Bannu, Habib-ur-Rehman Tanoli from Mansehra and Pervez Khattak from Nowshera made it to the NWFP cabinet on the PPP quota, which had 17 MPAs elected on its ticket to the provincial assembly.

Baseer Ahmed Khan from Nowshera, Mehmood Alam from Kohistan and Anwar Saifullah Khan, who were elected from two provincial assembly constituencies from Lakki Marwat, joined the PPP soon after the February 18 polls.

Habib-ur-Rehman, who is also the central deputy general secretary of the PPP-S, represents the six-member independent group, comprising Syed Murid Kazim, Sardar Ali, Javid Tarakai, Fazlullah and Syed Qalb-e-Hasan.

The ANP and PPP have the strength of 46 and 29 MPAs, respectively, while the JUI-F has 14 lawmakers, the PML-N eight MPAs and the PML-Q has six parliamentarians in the 117-seat house. By-elections on seven NWFP Assembly seats are to be held on June 18 in Dir Upper, Swat, Charsadda, Lakki Marwat, Abbottabad and Battagram districts.

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