'Boss' Zardari forces Gilani to delay trimming cabinet

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Islamabad, Dec. 12 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was forced to drop his idea of reshuffling and reducing the size of the cabinet when his 'boss' in the party asked him to refrain from doing so.

According to sources, certain influential ministers together with the so called 'boss', earlier this week, convinced Gilani to cancel his decision of trimming the cabinet at the last moment.

Gilani had held separate meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari, who is also the co-chairman of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), to discuss his plans of reducing the size of the much-criticised cabinet.

Insiders said that some ministers, particularly Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar and Shah Mehmood Qureshi, had contacted Zardari directly or through 'messengers' to complain that Gilani has not taken all the party leaders on board regarding the cabinet reshuffle.

It may be noted that all the three above-mentioned leaders were the front-runners in the race for the Prime Minister's chair in 2008.

According to sources privy to the issue, a group of ministers who are NRO beneficiaries told Zardari during a meeting, that if they were removed on moral grounds, the opposition and the media would start demanding his removal also.

This perhaps was the main point that forced Zardari to ask Gilani to drop his plans of changes in the cabinet.

Sources also added that it was Interior Minister Rehman Malik who spearheaded the campaign to delay the Prime Minister's plans. (ANI)

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