Name Your Cabinet: Who Would You Include?

Posted on January 23, 2011
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Politics
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Adil Najam

Pakistan’s Federal Cabinet – which, according to the official website of the government of Pakistan has 54 Ministers at the time of writing this post – is going to be ‘right-sized.’ If you were asked to assist the Prime Minister in choosing his new cabinet (including retaining or not existing Ministers and positions), who would you ask him to include?

Reportedly, and according to statements from the government’s two key spokespeople – Minister of Information Qamar Zaman Kaira and Minister of Law Babar Awan – this could include (a) reducing the number of actual ministries and Ministers, (b) inducting some new people, or (c) removing, replacing or reassigning existing Ministers. There are particular dynamics of Pakistan politics that have led to this decision, but cabinet changes are a regular and even expected feature of most governments and course correction is always wise, as much in our national affairs as in our personal life.

So, what is your advise for the Prime Minister as he devises a new cabinet? Who should remain? Who might be brought in? How might the portfolios themselves be reorganized beyond what is already mandated by recent constitutional changes?

Looking for a list outlining the composition of the current cabinet, I found this list of Ministers on the official website of the government of Pakistan. A little confused because at least some of the names here have reportedly left their Ministerial posts; but maybe the notifications have not yet gone through or the website has not been updated. But, this list is really the right one to base this discussion on since this is the cabinet that is being ‘right-sized.’

P.S. OK, here is the customary invocation that many readers will summarily dismiss. But let us request seriously because it is a serious request: Cynicism is easy, it can also be a retreat from reason and a deflection from thinking hard about hard problems, and usually it is not funny (there are exceptions, but they are very infrequent… There really are very few Oscar Wilde’s around). So, please spare us the wisecracks and cynicism. If we want serious politics in this country, we need to get serious about politics ourselves.

23 responses to “Name Your Cabinet: Who Would You Include?”

  1. YLH says:

    People I would like to see on the cabinet

    1. Shah Mahmood Qureshi
    2. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh
    3. Shahbaz Bhatti
    4. Farooq Sattar
    5. Raza Rabbani
    6. Bilour
    7. Hina Rabbani Khar
    8. Sardar Assef Ahmad Ali
    9. Makhdoom Amin Fahim
    10. Humayun Aziz Kurd
    11. Shahid Hussain Bhutto
    12. Babar Ghauri
    13. Hameedullah Jan Afridi

    11 should be enough. This would be a representative government party-wise, provincially and also religiously.

  2. SK says:

    I see mention of Aitzaz. You’ll have to keep in mind that Aitzaz is a very intelligent person, he will never work under Zardari as he will never get a free hand.

    Secondly also note that weak governments always have more ministers. Since this is indeed a weak government what I predict is the list might go down with 4-5 less ministers but no big changes to the current ones.

    The criteria to be a federal minister is simple. Zardari stand on a road and asks any passerby

    Know anything about Pakistan?. No.
    How many suras in Quran?. ####
    How many provinces of Pakistan?. ####
    What is 2+2? 8.
    Who was the founder of Pakistan?. %%%%%.
    Did you vote for PPP?. Yes
    Whose the most nice person of all? Asif Zardari

    Good. You are hereby appointed federal minister of Pakistan.

  3. Umar Shah says:

    Loaded question Dr. Sahab….

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