Yusuf Raza Gilani sworn in as the new PM, secures two-third majority in the National Assembly; 23 ministers to be inducted in the coalition cabinet; New Corp Commanders for Lahore and Mangla
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  • After being sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Pakistan, Yusuf Raza Gilani proved his majority in the National Assembly (NA) with a unanimous vote of trust1. Earlier, the NA had elected him for the post with 264 votes2. He promised to bring about positive changes in the system, including fixing the minimum wage at Rs. 6000 and an increase in the support price of wheat. Later on March 30, Gilani announced the abolition of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and stated that the subsequent cases would be taken up by the normal courts3.

    PML’s Nawaz Sharif meanwhile expressed his displeasure with the coalition government headed by PM Gilani - the Pakistan Democratic Alliance, over the inclusion of the MQM in the coalition government. He blamed the MQM for the Karachi bloodshed which killed 48 people4. President Musharraf on the other hand expressed his willingness to cooperate fully with the new government5.

    US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte and Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher visited Pakistan during the week and met with PM Gilani among other interlocutors. PM Gilani assured the American delegations that the new government was determined to fight terrorism and that Parliament shall take all key decisions6.

    In other developments, top-level changes were also effected in the Army with Lt. Gen. Ijaz Ahmad Bakshi and Lt. Gen. Nadeem Ahmed taking over as Corps Commanders of Lahore and Mangla respectively7.