KP caretaker ministers’ en masse resignations accepted

Abubakar Saddiq
Caretaker Chief Minister Azam Khan chairing a meeting of the interim cabinet. — Screengrab/Twitter/@KPChiefMinister
Caretaker Chief Minister Azam Khan chairing a meeting of the interim cabinet. — Screengrab/Twitter/@KPChiefMinister 

  • KP governor accepts resignations of 25 members of interim cabinet. 
  • Members include 14 ministers, 11 advisers and special assistants.
  • Interim ministers Shahid Khattak, Adnan Jalil have already resigned.

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Governor Haji Ghulam Ali on Friday accepted the resignations of 25 members of the interim cabinet — who stepped down from their posts in light of the directions issued interim Chief Minister Azam Khan.

The development comes after the interim chief executive asked his cabinet members to submit their resignations after receiving a letter from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) regarding politically affiliated people in the cabinet. 

Last month, the electoral authority directed the KP caretaker CM to immediately “de-notify” ministers, advisers and special assistants “involved in politics”. 

According to the notification issued in this regard, the KP governor accepted the resignations of 14 ministers and 11 advisers and special assistants.

Meanwhile, former caretaker ministers Shahid Khattak and Adnan Jalil have already resigned from their posts. 

A day earlier, former provincial information minister Firdous Jamal Shah said that CM Khan had decided to de-notify his ministers today. 

According to Shah, the interim CM had invited the ministers for tea where he asked them for their resignations. He added that those who do not submit their resignations would then be de-notified. 

In the letter issued last month, the ECP had briefed the interim CM on Article 218(3) and the role the caretaker setup plays in the conduct of the elections.

“The caretaker government including cabinet members, advisers, special assistants and other relevant functionaries can only provide an objective environment if they do not involve themselves in politics and election campaigns in violation of provisions of Section 230 (1)(d) and 2(g) of the Elections Act, 2017,” the secretary said in the letter.

The ECP regretted that it had noticed that some cabinet members were “appointed on the basis of political affiliations”. It also cited the example of Shahid Khattak, the former interim transport minister, who resigned after he was found indulging in “political activities”.

The electoral body regretted that the “attitude” of some cabinet members was “against the very spirit” of the caretaker government that has been envisioned in the Constitution and the Elections Act 2017.

“In view of the foregoing, the Election Commission has desired to request you while keeping the interim cabinet members at a minimum, to review the above said appointments (in light of the criteria as laid down in the above-said provisions of the Election Laws) and to de-notify such Ministers, Advisers and Special Assistants which are involved in politics immediately, so that free, fair and transparent elections are ensured for future,” the ECP added.

Multiple parties have complained about the interim setup in KP. According to The News, the majority of the caretaker cabinet members are either affiliated with the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) or their appointees.

In July, Shahid Khan Khattak, former KP caretaker minister for transport, had to tender his resignation after he faced criticism when he addressed a public meeting in the Nowshera district recently.

The ECP back then had also called the KP interim CM to remove Khattak from his post.