–Delay of one month in acceptance of resignation tendered by science and technology minister on ‘moral grounds’
–Swati hopeful to continue as minister after SC hearing next week, sources claim
ISLAMABAD: Despite the passage of one month, Prime Minister Imran Khan is yet to accept the resignation of federal minister for science and technology Senator Azam Swati which he tendered to uphold his “moral authority”.
Well-informed sources told Pakistan Today that although Azam Swati, who is being probed by the apex court over allegations of involvement in the transfer of a former capital police chief, had tendered his resignation as the federal minister for science and technology to the premier on December 5, 2018, he still holds the position on the list of ministers issued by the Cabinet Division.
Sources confirmed that Senator Swati’s name was present on the 24th number in the Cabinet Division’s complete list of 25 federal ministers. They also said that the cabinet division has not yet de-notified Swati as it awaits the premier’s approval.
Senator Swati is hopeful that he can continue as the technology minister after the hearing of his case in the Supreme Court scheduled for next week. And, ostensibly owing to this likelihood, the Cabinet Division has not de-notified him, said sources.
It is worth noting that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Swati currently faces a suo motu case in the Supreme Court pertaining to the ‘illegal’ transfer of former Islamabad inspector general Jan Muhammad.
Earlier, Senator Swati had reportedly met with the premier on December 5, 2018, and tendered his resignation. After the meeting, Senator Swati had said, “To uphold my moral authority, I have sent my resignation to the prime minister.” He added that he cannot work under such conditions, adding that PM Imran Khan had also agreed with him on the decision. “I will defend my case now without any authority or portfolio,” he said.
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, in a tweet over the tendering of resignation by Swati, had said such “democratic traditions are the face of ‘Naya Pakistan’”. He added that Swati was the second minister who tendered resignation over routine investigations while in the past even convicted persons remained glued to their posts.
The transfer of the capital’s IG took place after Swati’s son registered a case against a poor family for allegedly trespassing his family’s land. The family was released after a day’s detention. The argument with the family coupled with the IG’s transfer had caught the attention of media and the top court.
Sources have said that the SC had pondered over taking action against Swati under Article 62 of the constitution before forming a joint investigation team to probe the case. Senator Swati, in a bid to avoid possible action by the SC, had his tendered resignation.
Later on, the apex court had formed a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the case. Last month, the JIT had submitted its report to the apex court in which it held Swati and his employees responsible for the altercation that took place at his farmhouse and allegedly transpired into the police chief’s transfer.
With regard to the IG’s transfer, the minister had earlier disclosed that he contacted the IG on his phone for more than 20 hours but no one had picked up the phone. He said he lodged complaints with the prime minister, Senate chairman and the state minister for interior.
It is pertinent to mention that reportedly Azam Swati is the second member of PM Imran Khan’s cabinet to have tendered resignation. Earlier, it was Babar Awan, who had to resign from the post of adviser to the PM on parliamentary affairs after National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed a corruption reference over his alleged involvement in the inordinate construction delay of the 525MW Nandipur power plant.