Ajmal Wazir, the former adviser to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister on information, has said that the leaked audio clip associated with him was heavily “edited”, laying the blame for it on those who “plotted this third-class act” against him.
Wazir was removed from his post early on Saturday and replaced by Kamran Bangash, who is also the special assistant to the chief minister for local government, elections and rural development. Bangash will hold both portfolios, according to a notification by the provincial government.
The reason behind Wazir’s removal is said to be a leaked audio clip and allegations that he received kickbacks from an advertising agency in return for issuing them government advertisements. “Ajmal Wazir was removed after a leaked audio [clip],” Bangash had confirmed, saying: “Some things have come to light regarding [Wazir] taking commissions from an advertising firm.”
In a video message on his Twitter account on Saturday night, Wazir alleged that the leaked audio had taken clips from different meetings and discussions, which were then edited to place the blame on him. “I was in a meeting […] a clip was taken from there. A discussion was happening in some other place and then cut, cut, cut, [it was taken] out of context.
“You ask me a question, [then] you edit my answer.”
Holding up copies of the advertisements, he said that there were three advertisements that were to be given to television channels. He further said that according to the terms of business for the KP government, the minister of the relevant department chairs the steering committee which takes such decisions.
“All three times the advertisements were for the health department. That department is headed by the health minister [Taimur Saleem Jhagra]. Other people such as health secretary, DG etc are involved […] I don’t have the power [to issue advertisements on behalf of the department].”
Wazir said he had been “working day and night” since the pandemic began for the people of the province. “I did not take any holidays on Eid, I spent it in hospitals and isolation centres. I did not care about my protection or my family’s protection but [worked] to protect the lives of the people and ensure the implementation of SOPs.”
He said that the matter would be cleared after which he would reveal the names of those who plotted against him. “They couldn’t face me so they did something third-class like this.”
Wazir said he believed that whoever is accused [of misconduct] or has allegations levelled against him should face them. “This is Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision of accountability for every member of the party. [It will] not happen that we won’t be answerable when we are in government.”