The largest Cabinet in Pakistan's history with 55 ministers and ministers of state which will cost the country Rs 500 crores a year was sworn in on November 03, 2008 by President Asif Ali Zardari. With the greatest financial crunch that the country is facing, the nation hoped that sanity will prevail and the prime minister will form a reasonably small Cabinet to avoid unnecessary burden on the national exchequer. But our rulers do not seem to bother about such "mundane" matters. They have ignored the acute suffering Pakistan is going through these days begging for loans of billions of dollars from IMF which will put a huge burden on us for at least a decade. When a government is so insensitive, people lose confidence in its integrity as is happening with widespread protests against the shortage of electricity and daily price rise of necessities of life of the common man. It is surprising that the government which has been elected by the majority of poor people is so indifferent to their misery, yet so intent on forming such an expensive and lavish government to rule over them. Some of the ministers are those who somehow find a place in every Cabinet, most notably Ms Hina Rabbani Khar who has been appointed minister of state for finance and economic affairs. She headed the economic affairs division in the cabinet of much maligned Shaukat Aziz as well. Has she some good luck charm to find a place in the Cabinet of PPP Prime Minister Mr Gilani? Likewise a special department of "Special Initiatives" which is beyond all comprehension has been created to accommodate Mr Lal Muhammad Khan. One wonders what are his qualifications for this unique ministerial position. Another Ministry of Human Rights has been created for Syed Mumtaz Alam Gilani. This post, if at all needed, should have been given to Ms Asma Jahangir, who has devoted her entire life for the cause of human rights. The government has lavishly and needlessly bifurcated some ministries to accommodate friends and coalition partners. The division of Postal Services has been separated from the Ministry of Communications and a new ministry with the name of Postal Services has been created to accommodate coalition partner BNP (A)'s Senator Israrullah Zehri. He is the same person, who recently justified the burial alive of 5 girls in the name of "honour" according to the Balochi traditions. How could this man become a minister in the PPP government - a party which claims to be the champion of the rights of women? This is an insult to the ideals of late Chairperson of PPP, Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto. Similarly, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock has been bifurcated to carve out a new ministry to be called the Ministry of Livestock and Dairy Development, headed by Humayun Aziz Kurd. Nazar Muhammad Gondal will head the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. "The most unkindest cut of all" was the betrayal of PPP's coalition partner MQM, which was hoping to get three or four important ministries in the federal government. It is amazing that while approving the list of the Cabinet ministers, President Asif Ali Zardari completely ignored MQM Chief Mr Altaf Hussain's wishes whom he calls his "brother" and who was the first political leader to nominate him for the post of the president and has been supporting his policies at the centre as well as in Sindh. Keeping in mind Mr Zardari's high profile visit to the residence of Altaf Hussain in Azizabad where highly emotional speeches were delivered to renew the bonds of friendship between the PPP and the MQM and forget their past hostilities which are still fresh in the minds of Mohajirs living in Karachi and other parts of Sindh. One of the blackest years in Karachi's history was 1994 when the country was ruled by PPP. Huge casualties in the largest metropolis of Pakistan led to its often being described as "killing fields." Final estimates of the death toll in successive waves of violence and terrorism varied from less then 400 to over a thousand. The long spells of lawlessness, sometimes described as "bloodbath" caused grief and unhappiness to thousands of families that suffered loss of life and property. The fear of unknown kept the city's entire population paralysed for long periods. The largest number of extra-judicial killings noted by HRCP was in Sindh, where 43 persons were killed in so-called encounters with the police and other law enforcing agencies. Another 32 were alleged to have died of torture while in custody and 11 in jails. Forgetting this carnage and unfulfilled promises of PPP, MQM let the bygones be bygones and whole-heartedly supported PPP in the general elections in which MQM won 25 seats in the National Assembly, next only to PPP, PML-N and PML-Q. It is most surprising as to how and why PPP government ignored MQM in its federal government. Although the MQM leaders are magnanimously saying that they are not after ministries and will continue to support the PPP government, but it is obvious that the Muhajir community has been hurt very badly by this betrayal and cracks are bound to appear in MQM's relationship the with PPP government. The writer is a former director news, PTV E-mail: burhanhasan@hotmail.com