New coalition partners squabble for key cabinet berths in new Pak govt

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Islamabad, Mar 24 : Even as the stage for oath-taking ceremony of the new Yusuf Raza Gillani-government is all set in Islamabad, a tug of war has begun among the coalition partners, namely the PPP, the PML-N and the ANP, for the key cabinet posts.

It is believed that Pakistan will have the biggest cabinet size ever in its political history, somewhere around 70.

A senior PPP leader reportedly said that there's every possibility that the cabinet's size would be enlarged to accommodate all stakeholders. "We're of the view that the cabinet should be small, but it seems very difficult ... There are the PPP, PML-N, ANP, JUI, and MQM in the coalition, showing that adjustments would definitely be made," the Daily Times quoted the PPP leader as saying.

He said that since his party had decided to take the MQM on board, the number of cabinet members might jump to around 60 or more.

"There are differences over the distribution of some ministries," added the PPP leader.

It is learnt that the MQM has demanded the PPP to award it ministries of ports and shipping; housing and works; and communication ministries. "PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif will meet on Monday to finalise the distribution of ministries," the PPP leader said.

"We are planning that the would-be law minister takes oath immediately after the oath-taking ceremony of the prime minister, who will draft a resolution, demanding a UN probe into the assassination of Benazir Bhutto," he said.

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