By Shabbir Mir
GILGIT: The Gilgit-Baltistan government has decided to seek permission from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to expand regional cabinet.
An official of the G-B government told The Express Tribune on Saturday the decision was taken to ensure proper attention is given to all ministries, especially those which need more work.
“G-B Chief Minister Hafeezur Rahman, who is in Islamabad on an official visit, will formally submit the request to Nawaz for approval,” the official said.
The existing cabinet has seven members. Initially, six members were included in July.
From six to seven
Ibrahim Sanai was appointed the minister for information and education while Janbaz Khan was allotted the ministries for food and agriculture. The excise and taxation ministry went to Farman Ali. Sobia Moqaddam, who is the only woman to be appointed in the regional cabinet, was given the ministry of women development. In addition, Dr Muhammad Iqbal was made minister for works and Muhammad Wakeel was made minister for forests.
However, the Cabinet’s strength was increased to seven when Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Akbar Taban was allotted the ministry of power.
At least 150 teachers appointed on a contract-basis by the G-B government have been relieved of their duties. An official privy to the development told The Express Tribune the teachers had been sacked to refill the posts through “proper channels”.
“These teachers were hired by the previous government and are grade 14 officials,” he said. “A majority of them were not appointed on merit.”
As per the official, posts will be refilled through a public service commission or the National Testing Service.
The decision has been criticised by Shah Baig, leader of the opposition in the G-B Legislative Assembly. According to an official statement issued by his office on Saturday, the opposition leader said the dismissal of teachers was an injustice.
“Such acts will be [detrimental] for the chief minister and his government,” read
Published in The Express Tribune, December 20th, 2015.