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Have not yet resigned, ready to do as prime minister says: Fawad Chaudhry

Updated February 24, 2019

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Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry speaks to reporters in Jhelum on Sunday. — Screengrab
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry speaks to reporters in Jhelum on Sunday. — Screengrab

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday refuted media reports that he had submitted his resignation to the Prime Minister's Office over his reservations against the PTV management and said that he will do as Prime Minister Imran Khan says after meeting him tomorrow.

Divisions and rifts within the media team of the government had surfaced on Wednesday when Chaudhry claimed that some special assistants and advisers to the prime minister were backing the Pakistan Television (PTV) managing director who was taking a huge salary package despite the financial crisis PTV was facing.

During a visit to PTV Centre, the minister had said the bleak financial condition of PTV was clear to everybody. “We are not able to pay [monthly] pensions amounting to a few thousand rupees, but at the same time, a senior person was netting more than Rs2.5 million per month. This is unfair.”

The information minister, who was in Jhelum for his brother's wedding today, was quickly surrounded by journalists who sought clarification in the matter.

Chaudhry said while it was true that he had "certain reservations" against the PTV management, he had "not tendered [his] resignation yet".

"I have some reservations regarding the managing director of PTV. However, the final decision shall be the prime minister's," he told reporters.

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Chaudhry further said: "The formation of teams is the prime minister's prerogative. He will keep and remove whomever he sees fit."

"I don't have formal relations as such with the prime minister. If he picks up the phone, calls me, and says he does not want me to continue, then I won't. I don't have any political relations with him. I have personal relations which date back years. I have reached where I am because of him."

The PTI leader reiterated that he is ready to do as the prime minister says. "Of course I have my own reservations. One does not simply plant their flag and serve a ministry. Everyone has their own mindset," he added.

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When questioned by a journalist regarding Special Assistant Naeemul Haq's claim that a resignation tendered by Chaudhry had been received by the PM Office, the information minister dismissed the claim saying: "Naeemul Haq does not know anything. He just says things on a whim."

Chaudhry said he had not spoken to the prime minister regarding the issue yet since Khan was in Rajanpur and he himself was busy with the wedding.

"I will speak to him this evening if I can. Otherwise I will go see him tomorrow," he said in conclusion.

Later in the evening, Chaudhry took to Twitter to make things clear and solidify his stance.

"Neither I have submitted resignation nor PM has asked me to tender resignation, there are issues and I have raised those issues with PM ... PM has always been kind to me, its PM trust and personal relationship that is more important to me than any Govt office," he wrote.