PTI lost, sacked 18 prominent figures in first eight months

PTI lost, sacked 18 prominent figures in first eight months
Imran Khan took oath as Pakistan’s 22nd Prime Minister on August 18, 2018. The cricketer-turned-politician picked then members of his cabinet by August 22.

In the initial phase, the federal cabinet was comprised of 15 federal ministers and 5 advisers. Since then, the premier has sacked as many as four federal ministers.

The first casualty was Special Adviser to PM on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan who tendered resignation in the wake of graft proceedings.

The second wicket to fall was Federal Minister for Science and Technology Azam Swati. Embroiled in controversies over mysterious transfer of Islamabad IG and subsequent suo motu by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Swati relinquished from the post voluntarily.

The tally continued to rise. Imran Khan-led PTI government included renowned economist Atif Mian in Economic Advisory Council (EAC) but only to bow down to the pressure exerted by religious hardliners. After just three days of the announcement, Khan-led federal government succumbed to the unfair criticism and asked Atif Mian to step down.

To add insult to the injury, two more members of EAC—London-based Dr Imran Rasul and Professor Asim Ijaz Khwaja—also tendered resignation.

On his incessant failures to defend government’s economic policies, PTI-led federal government disowned Dr. Farrukh Saleem and sacked him from the position of federal govt’s spokesperson on economy.

After wreaking havoc in Islamabad, the tsunami turned to Punjab. Senior minister Aleem Khan was forced to resign after premier anti-graft watchdog initiated probe against him in assets beyond income case. Likewise, the outspoken spokesperson Fayyazul Hassan Chohan was asked to step down after his controversial remarks against the Hindu community.

After Chohan’s removal, the tsunami disappeared for a while but it reemerged in a vigorous and more forceful manner.

For a couple of days, all federal ministers, including minister for information and broadcasting Fawad Ch, vehemently dispelled reports of reshuffle in the federal cabinet. However, political pundits and media fraternity were left flabbergasted on April 18 when Finance Minister Asad Umar announced sudden resignation.

Later in a presser, Umar added that PM would make more changes in the cabinet.

Asad Umar’s presser was followed by a notification confirming that PM Imran Khan had made changes and re-allocated the portfolios of Ministers of Federal Cabinet.

As per notification, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain’s portfolio was changed to Minister for Science and Technology, Ghulam Sarwar’s to Minister for Aviation, Ijaz Ahmed Shah’s to Minister of Interior and Shehryar Afridi’s to Minister of State for SAFRON.

Similarly, Mohammad Mian Soomro was notified as Minister for Privatization whereas Azam Swati was appointed as Minister Parliamentary Affairs.

Dr Zafarullah Mirza was named as Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services while Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan as Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Nadeem Babar on Petroleum Division.

The wave of tabdeeli has not dispersed as yet as the premier has hinted at sacking more ministers on basis of performance.