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Zafar Mirza, Tania Aidrus Resign As Special Assistants To PM Amid Criticism

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In back to back blows to the PM’s cabinet, two SAPMs have announced to resign from their posts on Wednesday. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Digital Pakistan – Tania Aidrus – and then shortly after, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health – Dr. Zafar Mirza – announced that they were resigning from their posts. As per two separate notifications issued by the Cabinet Division, Prime Minister Imran Khan has accepted both Tania Aidrus’ and Dr. Zafar Mirza’s resignations.

Their resignations come amid recent criticism that has been levied against the government after it made the decision to publicly declare the assets and nationalities of 20 advisors and special assistants to the prime minister. This revelation brought to light that seven of them either were owners of another country’s permanent residency or were dual nationals.

Tania Aidrus’ Resignation

Following this, Ex-Google executive Aidrus – who had left her job to join the Prime Minister’s cabinet late last year as SAPM on Digital Pakistan – announced her resignation from the post in a tweet, citing the criticism she faced for holding a Canadian nationality. “Criticism levied towards the state as a consequence of my citizenship status is clouding the purpose of Digital Pakistan,” she said in the tweet.

In her resignation letter, Aidrus wrote that her nationality is a consequence of her birth and was not an acquisition of choice. She expressed her disappointment in the fact that such a thing that was not in her control was distracting from her ability to execute a long-term vision of Digital Pakistan.

“I always was and shall be a Pakistani,” she said, further adding that, “It is unfortunate that a Pakistani’s desire to serve Pakistan is clouded by such issues”. Moreover, asking the premier to accept her resignation as his aide, Aidrus assured that ‘she would continue to serve his vision and Pakistan through initiatives in both the public and private domain, where possible’.

Dr. Zafar Mirza’s Resignation

Very soon after Tania Aidrus’ Resignation, SAPM of health – Dr. Zafar Mirza – also did the same and announced his decision to resign via a twitter post. He said that he had come to Pakistan on the personal invitation of the premier after leaving the World Health Organisation (WHO) and is now resigning after working hard and honestly. He further cited the ongoing criticism on the government as the cause of this resignation.

In the statement, he wrote;

“I have resigned as SAPM. I came to Pakistan on a personal invitation of Imran Khan leaving WHO and have worked hard and honestly. It was a privilege to serve Pakistan. I am satisfied that I leave at a time when COVID -19 has declined in Pakistan as a result of a grand national effort. Due to ongoing negative discussion about the role of SAPMs and criticism on the gov, I choose to resign. Pakistani people deserve a better health care. I have worked sincerely to contribute to this cause. The country with InshaAllah emerge out of COVID-19 with a stronger health care system.”

 

Read also: Pakistan Post Recorded A 67% Boost In Revenue In Two Years

 

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