Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, a top leader of the ruling PPP’s key ally PML-Q, has been appointed as Pakistan’s Deputy Prime Minister.
Besides, 15 PML-Q lawmakers have been included in new Premier Raja Pervez Ashraf’s Council of Ministers taking its strength to 53.
66-year-old Elahi, who already holds the defence production and industries portfolios, has been appointed the Deputy Prime Minister with immediate effect and until further orders, a notification issued by the Cabinet Division said last night.
The move will not confer on him “any powers of the Prime Minister in any manner whatsoever”, it said.
President Asif Ali Zardari administered oath of office to another 15 ministers from PML-Q during a ceremony held at the presidency last evening.
Eight lawmakers were inducted as federal ministers while seven were inducted as ministers of state.
Sardar Bahadur Khan Sehar, Liaquat Abbas Bhatti, Sardar Talib Hussain Nakai, Sheikh Waqas Akram, Anwar Ali Cheema, Ghous Bukhsh Mehr, Jam Muhammad Yousaf and Chaudhry Wajahat Hussain took oath as federal ministers.
Rana Asif Tauseef, Malik Nauman Ahmed Langrial, Sardar Shahjehan Yousaf, Senator Saeed Khan Mandokhel, Chaudhry Ghias Ahmed Mela, Akram Masih Gill and Khawaja Sheraz Mehmood were inducted as ministers of state.
Prime Minister Ashraf, PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Balochistan Chief Minister Aslam Raisani and Cabinet members attended the ceremony.
On June 23, a total of 38 lawmakers had been sworn in as ministers along with Ashraf. While 27 were inducted as federal ministers, another 11 were sworn in as ministers of state.
The total strength of the council of ministers now is 53.
Ashraf retained most key members of former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani’s Cabinet in the same positions when he allocated portfolios among his council of ministers.
Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi was the only PML-Q leader who was sworn in on June 23 and given the defence production and industries portfolios.
The portfolios of the PML-Q ministers sworn in last evening are expected to be announced shortly, official sources said.