Sleek Cabinet

SELECTION of members of the Federal Cabinet by Caretaker Prime Minister, Justice Nasir-ul-Malik ® is reflective of his overall neat, clean and neutral mindset and this sparks confidence that he would live up to expectations of the nation to deliver credible and transparent election in the country. There are no indications as yet whether the Federal Cabinet would be expanded in days to come but in the first batch only six members have been inducted and almost all portfolios assigned to them.
As per constitutional scheme of things, caretakers are not supposed to indulge in long-term policy formulation or implementation but only run day-to-day affairs of the government and provide all possible cooperation and assistance to the Election Commission of Pakistan in the discharge of its responsibilities vis-à-vis holding general election. There is, therefore, every justification that the size of the caretaker set up should be kept to the bare minimum. Otherwise too, when there is no policy issues involved, there is every reason to save public exchequer from unnecessary burden and that too at a time when the country is passing through a financial crunch and according to some reports, the caretaker Prime Minister has given a go ahead signal for initiation of talks with IMF for a possible bailout package. But one must give credit to the Caretaker PM for adopting a realistic approach in governing the country in the interim period, which is a departure from past traditions and practices when more than required numbers were inducted into federal and provincial cabinets for questionable motives and reasons. Again, spirit of the concept of formation of interim set-up would be defeated if members of the Cabinet have any political affiliation or leanings, which could have repercussions and implications for fairness of the electoral exercise. In this backdrop, the six-member Cabinet has been selected on merit and all Ministers enjoy good reputation. It is hoped that they would not only contribute meaningfully in ensuring neutrality of elections but also help set up examples of good governance despite the fact that limited time is available at their disposal.

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