Islamabad, Mar 28: The Pakistan Democratic Alliance (PDA) has agreed to form a preliminary cabinet of 23 ministers which will be later expanded. Pakistan People's Party (PPP) sources said at a meeting of the joint committee of coalition partners finalised modalities for the distribution of federal cabinet slots and an announcement was expected soon, local media reports suggested.
Senior PPP and PML-N leaders including Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Ishaq Dar, Khwaja Asif, Syed Khurshid Shah, Chaudhri Ahmed Mukhtar, Raja Pervez Ashraf and Naveed Qamar attended the meeting. ''The nominations have been finalised. The nation will hear good news soon,'' a senior PPP leader said. ''We had the mandate to prepare recommendations and we have accomplished the task,'' he said, adding that the recommendations would be submitted to PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif for approval.
''The first phase of cabinet will comprise 23 ministers and the PPP will get 10 ministries,'' the sources said, adding that the PML-N would get eight and the ANP three ministries. The JUI-F and the Fata group will get one each, they said.
PPP information secretary Sherry Rahman said, ''Surely, the cabinet will be announced in phases and we estimate the preliminary announcement of up to 22 ministers.'' The coalition partners had put immense pressure and demands for important portfolios, she added.