Islamabad, Mar 28 : The two major coalition partners in the new Pakistan government - the PPP and the PML-N - have reportedly finalised the list of ministers in the new cabinet, with the PPP tipped to get the Information and Defence ministries and PML-N to have control over the country's finances.
The first cabinet expansion of the newly formed Yousuf Raza Gilani government is expected to take place tomorrow in Islamabad.
As expected, journalist-turned-politician and PPP MNA Sherry Rehman is all set to get the Information Ministry, while another high-profile PPP leader Khursheed Shah who is tipped to be the new defence minister.
PML-N's Ishaq Dar, who was the country's Finance Minister on October 12, 1999 when the then Army chief Pervez Musharraf staged the bloodless coup on the Nawaz Sharif government, will get hold of the Finance Ministry in the new cabinet.
According to The News, an agreement on distribution of portfolios has been reached between the PPP and the PML-N and most of the lucrative ministries have been distributed.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi of the PPP is slated to get Foreign Affairs, while Maulana Fazlur Rehman will be the new Chairman of the Kashmir Committee, the paper quoted sources as saying.
In a surprise addition, ANP leader Asfandyar Wali is said to have given his willingness to take over the Ministry of Water and Power.
Ch Nisar Ali Khan of the PML-N is set to make a new record in the history of Pakistan when he would take oath as the petroleum minister for the third time. In the last two governments of Nawaz Sharif, he held the same position. This ministry deals with multi- million dollar contracts involving very major players both within and outside Pakistan. Many financial scams in the last eight years have been surfacing involving many top guns, which establishes the financial importance of this ministry. No one knows why Nisar always loves only to head this ministry every time he gets a chance.
PPP's Rehman Malik will be the new adviser to the prime minister on interior affairs. He would enjoy the full status of the federal minister with the sweeping powers to sit in the most powerful ministry.
PML-N's Ahsan Iqbal would be made the Deputy Chairman Planning with the status of the minister. PPP loyalist MNA Qamar Zaman Kaira who is widely respected for his intelligence and abilities might be given the portfolio of Kashmir affairs.