ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday came down hard upon dissenting voices within the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and told a parliamentary party meeting that he would reshuffle the federal cabinet and remove ministers if they failed to deliver according to his expectations.
Speaking to Pakistan Today, a lawmaker of the ruling party said that during Monday’s meeting, a lawmaker from Peshawar Arbab Mohammad Amir had complained about the lack of coordination between the cabinet members and lawmakers.
Amir had said that most cabinet members had been avoiding meeting other lawmakers of the party. He told the premier that cabinet members had also failed to resolve issues faced by the party workers, leading to lawmakers being burdened with multiple issues at a time.
He added that he had tried to approach cabinet members over some issues being faced by party workers but the cabinet members had been avoiding him.
Responding to Amir’s complaint, the premier said that he would shake up the federal cabinet soon and the ministers who would fail to deliver according to his expectations would be removed.
PM Imran also lashed out another PTI lawmaker Noor Alam Khan for saying things against his own government during the last session of the National Assembly (NA).
“Why did you not speak against the previous governments when your former party leaders had been looting the national exchequer?” he asked him.
“The loot and plunder carried out by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) during the last 35 years brought us to the brink of bankruptcy and we had to approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for assistance, leading to price hike,” he told the meeting.
When other lawmakers also joined the chorus against the cabinet members, the premier once again assured them that he would soon reshuffle the cabinet and ministers who do not perform well would be shown the door.
According to informed sources, Asad Umar is likely to return as a federal minister, taking charge of the Petroleum Ministry this time.
Sources said that Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry will have to relinquish hold of his portfolio once again. It is expected that Defence Minister Pervez Khattak or Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood would be appointed as interior minister in place of Brig (r) Ijaz Shah.
Sources further said that Zubaida Jalal will likely become the education minister in place of Shafqat Mehmood, while Firdous Ashiq Awan also among those who will be a part of the reshuffle.
Dr Babar Awan is also expected to become an adviser, sources said, adding that the former law minister is more interested towards being a senator.
Sources earlier informed that Prime Minister Imran Khan has also decided to carry out major changes in the Punjab provincial administration with reshuffling expected in the provincial cabinet.