Pakistan govt carves out new ministries to accomodate partners

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Islamabad, Nov 5 (UNI) The Pakistan Peoples Party has carved out new ministries, perhaps for the first time in the country's history, to accomodate its partners in the coalition government.

The move came two days after the Cabinet was expanded on Monday night with induction of 40 new members - 22 full ministers and 18 deputy ministers, raising its total strength to 55.

To accommodate different federal ministers, the PPP-led coalition government has taken the unique step of bifurcating some ministeries.

The Communications Ministry and the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock has been bifurcated to create two more ministries.

Postal Services has been separated from the Communications Ministry and a new ministry with the name of Postal Services has been created to accommodate coalition partner Balochistan National Party's Senator Israrullah Zehri.

Similarly, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock has been bifurcated to carve out a new ministry to be called the Ministry of Livestock and Dairy Development, headed by Hamayun Aziz Kurd.

Hamayun Aziz Kurd was in-charge of the Ministry of Population Welfare but it has now been given to Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, who was formerly a central leader of the Pakistan Muslim League (Q).

However, she left the former ruling party days before February 18 elections, which saw the PML(N) being defeated by the Pakistan Peoples Party.

What has surprised everyone is the division of the Ministry of Religious Affairs into Minorities Affairs.

Hina Rabbani Khar, a former state minister for economic affairs in Shaukat Aziz's government, who joined the PPP before elections, has become the first woman Minister of State for Finance.

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