Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has expressed displeasure over the performance of some of his team members and is likely to reshuffle and expand the federal cabinet in a few days with the objective of improving governance as well as effectively undertaking development projects, it is learnt reliably.
The decision, according to well-placed sources, has been taken following a seven-hour long meeting in Murree on Friday in which performance of every minister was discussed in detail.
Sources maintained that the Prime Minister expressed dissatisfaction at the performance of Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan, Minister for Industries and Production Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi, Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulations and Co-ordination Sara Afzal Tarar, Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training and Interior and Narcotics Control (additional charge) Mohammad Balighur Rehman and others.
The sources maintained that the Prime Minister warned the poor performers that they either improve their performance or face replacement.
The meeting also discussed criticism by opposition political parties in parliament for the absence of a permanent full-fledged foreign minister and it is highly likely that a permanent Foreign Minister will be appointed in the expected cabinet reshuffle.
The sources further maintained that the Prime Minister has also decided in principle to shift portfolios held by himself like foreign affairs and communications to other ministries/or appoint full time ministers and take away portfolios from those who hold more than one portfolio at present.
Currently, the total strength of the cabinet is 21 and as per Article 92 (1) included under the 18th Amendment, the total strength of the cabinet cannot exceed 11 percent (50 cabinet members) of the total membership of the parliament (342 National Assembly and 104 Senate).
The Prime Minister reportedly also instructed his cabinet members, party senators, Members of National Assembly as well as members of provincial assemblies to establish a close liaison with masses in their respective constituencies with a view to bridging the growing gap between the grass-root workers and the leadership.
The sources said the Prime Minister also expressed displeasure at the disconnect between the grass-root party workers and the cabinet members in the aftermath of the report presented by Punjab Governor Rafique Rajwana which highlighted the widening gap between the grass-root workers and the leaders.
Additionally, the sources said the Prime Minister has also decided to personally monitor the ongoing development projects and decided to visit various parts of the country in the coming few months. Under the plan, the Prime Minister will address a public meeting in Sialkot on August 9 after inaugurating the Sialkot-Lahore Motorway project.