Pakistan cabinet set to be dissolved

Friday, February 4, 2011

ISLAMABAD - The central executive committee (CEC) of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party Friday decided to dissolve the federal cabinet and empower Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to do the job, a media report said.

In the CEC meeting chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari, co-chairman of the PPP, the cabinet members handed over their resignations to the party high command, Geo TV reported.

The party authorised Gilani to dissolve the cabinet whenever needed, it said.

Briefing the media after the CEC meeting, secretary general of the PPP Jahangir Badar said that “the decision to dissolve the cabinet has been taken in principle and it can be executed anytime”. He, however, showed reluctance in giving a time-frame.

“There are no time-frame or deadlines in politics. What matters is the timing and we’ll do it when the timing is right,” he said. “The allies in the ruling coalition will be taken on board before dissolving the government and deciding on new names”.

“The new cabinet will be much smaller in size,” Badar said.

The decision follows criticism that the cabinet, which has more than 70 members including senior and junior ministers as well as advisers, is too bloated for a country facing financial crunch.

The 18th amendment passed last year binds the government to shrink the cabinet size. The main opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) sought a smaller cabinet as part of a 10-point economic agenda accepted by the ruling party in January.

Answering a question about the probe into assassination of former PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto, Badar said that “the party dilated upon the report in the last meeting”.

“We don’t want to take revenge from any individual,” he vowed.

Badar also denied reports that “Zardari had secretly married Tanveer Zamani in Dubai”.

“The party co-chairman has made it clear that he is now married solely to the mission of his former wife Benazir Bhutto,” he said.

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