Pakistan’s new cabinet sworn in

March 31st, 2008 - 6:22 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf
Islamabad, March 31 (DPA) The 24-member cabinet of Pakistan’s new coalition government was sworn in Monday, including members who had said they would refuse to take their oaths of office from President Pervez Musharraf. Musharraf administered the oaths to all the ministers, some of whom are bitter rivals whom he imprisoned after seizing power in a bloodless coup in 1999. Those who had threatened to boycott the ceremony changed their minds and attended Monday.

With his cabinet in place, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani plans to start an ambitious 100-day programme that includes addressing security issues, improving energy supplies and creating jobs.

Gillani would require his cabinet to adhere to the 100-day programme to “provide immediate relief to the common man”, he told reporters Sunday.

The cabinet includes 11 ministers from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) of slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, which won the most seats in the Feb 18 election. Gillani is also from the PPP.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz of another former premier, Nawaz Sharif, which won the second most seats in the election, has nine ministers in the cabinet.

The North-West Frontier Province-based Awami National Party has two ministers, and the two smallest parties in the coalition, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F and Fata, each have one minister.

The cabinet could be expanded in the future, PPP spokesman Farhatullah Babar said.

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