Islamabad, Apr 7: The ruling coalition in Pakistan has decided to postpone further expansion of the federal cabinet till May or June. Sources told the Daily Times that with 24 ministers already in place, the next phase of cabinet expansion should take place after the nomination of parliamentary secretaries in the National Assembly Standing Committees. "The second phase of the cabinet will come after over one and a half months or two ... there are some issues, including the nomination of parliamentary secretaries and formation of National Assembly standing committees, which have to be finalised ahead of the second phase of cabinet expansion," the sources said.
The Rules of Procedures and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, 2007, says that the assembly should elect the standing committees within 30 days after the election of the leader of the house. The Pakistan People's Party (PPP), the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the Awami National Party (ANP), the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and FATA members have recently become political partners at the Centre, following the February 18 general elections.
Of the 24-member cabinet, 11 members are from the PPP, nine from the PML-N, two from the ANP, and one each from the JUI-F and the FATA. The sources said that the coalition partners were likely to meet in the next few days to develop a consensus on the names of parliamentary secretaries, adding that some members of the ruling coalition who could not be accommodated in the first phase of cabinet formation were likely to be made cabinet members and heads of standing committees.
They also said that efforts were being made to complete the formation of standing committees by the end of April.