Friday September 17, 2021

Sacking of cabinet members sets alarm bells ringing for others 

File photo of Adviser to Chief Minister on Revenue and Estate Qalandar Khan Lodhi (L) and Minister for Social Welfare Dr Hisham Inamullah Khan (R)
File photo of Adviser to Chief Minister on Revenue and Estate Qalandar Khan Lodhi (L) and Minister for Social Welfare Dr Hisham Inamullah Khan (R)

PESHAWAR: The sacking of the two members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet has set the alarm bells ringing for their colleagues, who are worried about their own future.      

Some of the cabinet members remarked there was no guarantee that one would be able to complete his tenure with dignity in the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government. 

Minister for Social Welfare Dr Hisham Inamullah Khan and Adviser to Chief Minister on Revenue and Estate Qalandar Khan Lodhi tendered resignations on Tuesday as sought by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan. 

In his resignation letter, Dr Hisham Inamullah thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister Mahmood Khan for putting trust in him. He vowed to spare no effort to strengthen the party. 

According to sources close to Dr Hisham Inamullah, some PTI activists in his native Lakki Marwat district were shocked by his unexpected removal.  

They announced to stage a protest against Governor Shah Farman and Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur.  

However, according to sources, Dr Hisham Inamullah intervened and stopped them, saying it would send a wrong message and people would say as if he was power-hungry. 

“Some PTI activists became emotional and vowed to stage a protest rally by blocking the Indus Highway passing through Lakki Marwat. Dr Hisham stopped them and made them understand that was what his political opponents wanted him to do,” a PTI leader told The News in Peshawar. 

Pleading anonymity, he said it was a big shock to Dr Hisham but he managed to control his emotions and that of his followers. 

He said the day Dr Hisham was asked to resign he was holding a big political gathering in his native town and had brought a large number of JUI workers to PTI. 

According to sources close to Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad, Dr Hisham had already informed the prime minister about the alleged negative role of Governor Shah Farman and Ali Amin Gandapur against him. 

In his resignation, Dr Hisham alleged that Shah Farman and Gandapur didn’t like his presence in the cabinet. 

When reached, Governor Shah Farman dismissed the allegations, saying he had nothing to do with the ministers and their departments. 

This correspondent spoke to some of the provincial ministers in Peshawar about the ongoing situation. 

Two of them said they had been hearing for the last few months that one or two uninfluential cabinet members would be sacked to pave the way for the influential ones. 

“There were these rumours but frankly speaking I didn’t know who would be axed. In PTI, a minister doesn’t expect he would complete his tenure as anything can happen,” one minister remarked. 

According to the ministers, there was no clear-cut standard to judge the performance of the cabinet members. 

“Most of the cabinet members preferred to focus on their respective constituencies rather than sitting in offices and issuing statements. In PTI, if you come to the limelight, then you will have to pay the price as certain elements feel threatened,” another cabinet member said. 

A third one said had there been any check on the performance of the ministers, Taimur Jhagra would have been sent home long ago. 

He said he was surprised when he came to know that the two cabinet members were sacked on the basis of poor performance. 

“Would you believe whenever I visit my constituency, I prefer to stay away from hospitals due to a large number of complaints against the poor services. But Taimur Jhagra has been allotted two important portfolios, finance and health as he has links,” he said. 

He claimed the chief minister was not consulted to sack the two cabinet members, saying if it was up to the chief minister, he would have fired some other people.