PTI minister Azam Swati resigns 'to uphold moral authority'

Published December 6, 2018
Azam Swati resigns as the federal minister for science and tech — DawnNewsTV
Azam Swati resigns as the federal minister for science and tech — DawnNewsTV
Azam Swati calls on PM Imran Khan at PM House in Islamabad. —PID
Azam Swati calls on PM Imran Khan at PM House in Islamabad. —PID

Federal Minister for Science and Technology Azam Swati, who is being probed over allegations that he played a role in the transfer of a former capital police chief, tendered his resignation to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday.

"To uphold my moral authority, I sent my resignation to the PM [and told him] that I cannot work under these conditions," Swati said.

"Now I will defend my case without any portfolio or authority."

Swati, a member of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), is currently facing a case in the Supreme Court over accusation that he had influenced the transfer of former Islamabad Inspector General of Police Jan Mohammad.

The police official's transfer took place after Swati’s son had registered a case against a family of slum dwellers for allegedly trespassing on his family’s land. Five people, including two women, were arrested for trespassing on the land and beating up Swati’s guards.

They were released after a day’s detention as police said a settlement had been reached between the minister and the detained family.

The altercation, coupled with the IGP's transfer, had caught the attention of the media as well as the apex court.

The SC at one point had pondered taking action against Swati under Article 62 of the Constitution before forming a joint investigation team to probe the case.

On November 19, the court-formed JIT had held Swati and his employees responsible for the altercation that took place at his farmhouse and allegedly transpired into the police chief's transfer.

Swati, regarding the IGP's transfer, had earlier disclosed that the police chief was contacted on his mobile phone after making 38 calls and he promised action on his complaint against the neighbours. The next day, he had said, the IGP was approached again to get a follow-up and in response he replied: “No one has talked to you yet?”

On his attitude, “I lodged complaints with the prime minister, the Senate chairman, leader of the house and the state minister for interior,” the minister had said.

While this episode was unfolding, it had appeared that Swati's family may have been encroaching upon government land, following which the Capital Development Authority had issued Swati's wife, the owner of the property, a notice to remove encroachments and unauthorised construction from her farmhouse in 15 days.

Swati is the second member of Prime Minister Imran Khan's cabinet to have tendered resignation. Earlier it was Babar Awan, who had to resign from the post of adviser to the premier on parliamentary affairs after the National Accountability Bureau filed a corruption reference over his alleged involvement in inordinate delay in construction of the 525MW Nandipur power plant

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