PTI senior leaders and federal ministers Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Asad Omar have called on Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan and demanded resignation be sought from federal minister Fawad Chaudhry.
The PM, however, listened to both these ministers but held out no assurance to them on this count.
Sources said Asad Omar and Shah Mehmood Qureshi were of the view that Fawad Chaudhry gave this impression in his interview that party and government are failing due to them and they are responsible for the division in the party.
Past-Midnight, Islamabad rumour mill was active that PM Imran Khan is coming under pressure from within PTI to demand Fawad Chaudhry’s resignation; there is many a slip twixt the cup & the lip & Fawad may get another reprieve but hope he understands that brinkmanship has limits!
— Moeed Pirzada (@MoeedNj) June 24, 2020
The two ministers expressed their confidence in Imran Khan leadership besides demanding that such things with coming in media will weaken government and party. Therefore if no action is taken against Fawad Chaudhry then it will create an impression of leniency. This will be tantamount to compromise on party discipline.
Sources said the PM listened to them attentively but he talked nothing about the resignation of Fawad Chaudhry saying he understands all the matters.
On the other side, the sources have claimed what interview has been given by Fawad Chaudhry, he has given it under some planning. It was already in the knowledge of a key figure. Minister for water resources supported Fawad Chaudhry. Upon it he was specially directed to attend cabinet meeting from Karachi. Other ministers were on a video link.
Sources said the basic motive of what had been said by Fawad Chaudhry in his interview in the perspective of growing contacts and secret meetings of these two leaders with certain circles was to give a message to these two ministers.
Fawad Chaudhry’s interview with VOA
The division in the cabinet first came under spotlight when Fawad Chaudhry in an interview with the Voice of America said that infighting between Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Planning Minister Asad Umar and PTI leader Jahangir Tareen has had an adverse impact on the party and has been one of the main reasons behind Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision not being implemented in its true sense.
“There were a lot of expectations from PTI and Imran Khan,” Chaudhry had said in an interview with Sohail Warraich for Voice of America. “The public had not elected us or the prime minister to fix nuts and bolts but to reform the system.”
“When the Panama case was resolved I and few others had a chance to speak to Imran Khan and at that time I felt his ideas were very clear when it came to reforms,” he said.
The minister added, “The way he said the chief ministers had become dictators in Sindh and the finance commission award should be [implemented] along with police reforms and judicial reforms, it was very clear at that time what Imran Khan’s vision was.”
Chaudhry said that problems arose when the government was formed and differences between Umar, Tareen and Qureshi increased. “These differences pushed the entire political class out of the game altogether.”
Fawad vows not to step down
Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Fawad Chaudhry after facing a severe backlash from within the party and the general public, said politics is not for the “weak-hearted” vowing to stay on as minister till he has the confidence of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“I will stay on as a minister till I have the trust of Prime Minister Imran Khan. There is no question of resigning on someone else’s wish,” tweeted Chaudhry on Thursday, referring indirectly to Punjab information minister Fayyaz Chohan who had asked the science and technology minister to step down.
Within the party circles, Fawad Chaudhry was able to earn the support of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founding member Najeeb Haroon. He threw his weight behind Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry over his comments regarding divisions in Prime Minister Imran Khan’s cabinet.
Online Int’l News with additional input by GVS News Desk