Christian Minister Stopped From Presenting Provincial Budget in Pakistan

 

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led by former prime minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has succumbed to pressure by most of its legislators of the Punjab Provincial Assembly to not let a Christian cabinet minister present the provincial budget for 2011-12 just because of his faith.

Kamran Michael, who holds the portfolio of Punjab

Minorities Affairs Ministry, was given the additional charge of the provincial Finance Ministry, a few months ago [in March] when the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), which was a coalition partner of the PML-N in Punjab, was forced to quit the government in wake of widening rift between the two parties.

According to reports, the PML-N leaders are now in a quandary trying to figure out who to assign the Finance Ministry portfolio before the budget is presented before the Punjab Assembly on June 10. Several party members are reported to have objected to a Christian being given such a prominent position as that of delivering the annual budget speech and fear losing votes amongst some of their conservative, right-wing vote bank. The PML-N is already afraid of losing ground in its heartland of Punjab to other parties that have been making inroads in the province in the recent months.

However, while Michael was minister in theory, in practice the position has been managed by Sardar Zulfiqar Khan Khosa, senior adviser to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. Khosa attended all meetings related to the budget and was the de facto head of the ministry, despite the fact that Punjab government rules prohibit an adviser from heading any departmental business, even those at a department to which he or she has been assigned.

Michael was forbidden from even contacting the provincial finance secretary or the chairman of the Planning and Development Department ever since he had assumed charge of the Finance Ministry. Michael is authorised to present the budget as Rule 136 of the Punjab Assembly Rules of Procedure requires the provincial budget to be presented by the finance minister or another minister who has been assigned his portfolio. According to the rules of the Punjab Assembly, the residual powers of any unfilled portfolios in the provincial cabinet are transferred to the chief minister until a new minister is appointed.

Readmore

Categories: Pakistan

5 replies

  1. During the time of Field Marshall Mohammad Ayyub Khan it was the turn of a Christian to become Chief Justice of Pakistan. He hesitated to appoint him and asked Sir Mohammad Zafrullah Khan for advice. Sir Zafrullah answered that this Christian Judge was fully qualified. He knew all laws and could be trusted. Consequently he was appointed Chief Justice of Pakistan. (sorry, the name escapes me just now).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.