Resignations of KP caretaker ministers accepted by Governor

Caretaker Chief Minister Azam Khan chairing a meeting of the interim cabinet. — Screengrab/Twitter/@KPChiefMinister
  • KP governor accepts retirements of 25 members of interim cabinet.
  • Members include 14 ministers, 11 advisors, and special assistants.
  • Interim ministers Shahid Khattak, Adnan Jalil have previously retired.

PESHAWAR: On Friday, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Governor Haji Ghulam Ali accepted the retirements of 25 members of the interim cabinet. These members stepped down from their positions following the guidance given by interim Chief Minister Azam Khan.

This development took place after the interim chief executive requested his cabinet members to submit their retirements upon receiving a letter from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) regarding politically affiliated individuals in the cabinet.

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

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

Meanwhile, former caretaker ministers Shahid Khattak and Adnan Jalil have already retired from their positions.

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

According to Shah, the interim CM invited the ministers for a meeting where he requested them to submit their retirements. He added that those who do not submit their retirements would be de-notified.

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

“The caretaker government, including cabinet members, advisors, special assistants, and other relevant officials, 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 expressed regret 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 retired after engaging in “political activities”.

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

“In view of the foregoing, the Election Commission has requested you to review the above-mentioned appointments (in light of the criteria laid down in the above-said provisions of the Election Laws) and to de-notify such Ministers, Advisors, 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 facing 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 position.

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