ISLAMABAD: After a lapse of more than one month, President Dr Arif Alvi has finally accepted the resignation of former federal minister for science and technology Azam Swati.
“The president accepted the resignation of Mr Swati on Wednesday,” President’s Press Secretary Tahir Khushood told Dawn.
A notification issued by the Cabinet Division on Thursday said that the president had on the advice of Prime Minister Imran Khan accepted the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader’s resignation with effect from Dec 6.
The former minister had submitted his resignation on Dec 6 soon after meeting Prime Minister Khan.
Mr Swati was accused of having been involved in the transfer of former Islamabad inspector general of police Jan Mohammad and illegally occupying state land adjacent to his farmhouse in the federal capital.
“In order to uphold my moral authority, I sent my resignation to the PM as I cannot work under these circumstances,” Mr Swati had said.
Ex-minister was accused of getting Islamabad IGP transferred and illegally occupying state land
The Supreme Court, which had taken notice of Mr Swati’s alleged misuse of power, hinted at proceeding against him under Article 62 of the Constitution before forming a joint investigation team to probe the case.
The apex court had formed the joint investigation team on Nov 19 last year and held Mr Swati and his employees responsible for the altercation that took place at his farmhouse and for the police chief’s transfer.
The Islamabad IG was transferred soon after Mr Swati’s son had registered a case against a family of slum dwellers for trespassing the minister’s farmhouse, and five people, including two women, were arrested for beating up Mr Swati’s guards. However, the slum dwellers were released the following day after a settlement between the minister and the detained family.
The JIT in its report held the former federal minister responsible for ‘illegally’ occupying the state land and forcing the Islamabad police chief to step down.
The report stated that the inquiry against Mr Swati was linked to the situation that arose after the minister’s son had a case registered against the neighbouring family.
During the last hearing of the case, the Supreme Court had referred a matter relating to the alleged amassing of wealth beyond known sources of income by Mr Swati to the Federal Board of Revenue as well as the Islamabad police for a comprehensive probe.
Azam Swati is the second member of the federal cabinet who has left his office for facing National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cases in the recent past.
Earlier, PM’s adviser on legal affairs Babar Awan had resigned for his alleged involvement in a case related to an increase in the cost of Nandipur power project.
Interestingly, PTI’s former secretary general Jehangir Tareen had also left politics after being disqualified by the Supreme Court for concealing his assets. Some other PTI leaders, including Prime Minister Khan, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Punjab minister Abdul Aleem Khan, PM’s adviser Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari and PM’s principal secretary Azam Khan, are also facing NAB cases.
Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2019