–Sources say Prime Minister Imran Khan forced Babar to resign as adviser on parliamentary affairs
ISLAMABAD: Soon after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed a corruption reference against him on Tuesday, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Dr Babar Awan announced that he had resigned from the post of adviser to the prime minister on parliamentary affairs.
“Upholding Prime Minister Imran Khan’s promise with the nation, I resign from the post of adviser to PM on parliamentary affairs so that I may disprove allegations levelled [against me] in the NAB reference,” read Babar’s resignation letter.
Meanwhile, sources informed Pakistan Today that Babar’s resignation was not voluntary rather he had been told to do so by the prime minister.
“Becoming the adviser on parliamentary affairs was not Babar’s first choice as he had kept his eyes on the coveted Law Ministry. He had only accepted the position after Dr Farogh Nasim was appointed as the minister for law,” they said, adding that Awan had reluctantly accepted the office of adviser.
“Following the filing of a corruption reference against Babar, the premier left him with no other option but to step down,” the sources said.
After tendering his resignation, Babar announced it in a tweet as well.
“Rule of Law begins with me. Thank you Insafians for standing by me always. I will never let you down,” read a statement on his Twitter account.
Here I am tendering my resignation to my Kaptaan. Will prove my innocence in court
وَتعِزُّ مَن تَشَاءُ وَتُذِلُّ مَن تَشَاءُۖ pic.twitter.com/36Ze5zH9MF
— Babar Awan (@BabarAwanPK) September 4, 2018
Earlier in the day, NAB had filed a corruption reference against Babar regarding prolonged delay in the Nandipur Project. The delay was caused during the tenure of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) led government in the Centre from 2008 to 2013, with Babar then serving as the minister for law and justice.
The NAB has claimed that the Ministry of Water and Power and the Ministry of Law and Justice were responsible for the delay in the completion of the Nandipur power project and for its eventual cost escalation. The Law Ministry had raised objections to the agreement signed by the Power Ministry from 2008 to 2011 and the issue was resolved after the ministers for the two ministries were removed.