Irshad Bhatti, a prominent Pakistani political commentator, has revealed that Prime Minister Imran Khan recently met Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan at Banigala. “Dr. Awan is Banigala house’s choice,” Bhatti said. There were already some news about her appointment as adviser to the CM Punjab.
PML-N’s Atta Tarar had claimed that “I say on oath that Dr. Awan was recommended by PM Imran Khan’s wife,” he said in a show, To the Point, on Express-News.
Notably, the Advocate General Punjab has already opposed the induction of Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan into the provincial cabinet as she has been named as an alleged contemnor in the Supreme Court verdict in Justice Qazi Faez Isa case. According to Geo News, the Punjab government has been reminded by the province’s top law officer that the apex court has said Dr Awan used contemptuous language against a sitting judge, and her appointment as CM’s assistant may therefore be considered as dismissive of the Supreme Court’s verdict.
Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan’s removal
Dr Awan was unceremoniously removed from the office after she reportedly refused to resign. She had denied the allegations of corruption and misuse of power during her time as the PM’s aide. Speaking to a local news outlet, she had said how she could take a 10 percent commission while giving advertisements when no such advertisements were given to the media during her tenure. She had said that the files related to her ministry were never shown to her, but rather they were taken to Prime Minister Imran Khan directly by the secretary for six months.
“A case pertaining to an advertisement company who I supposedly gave money to, they got through to me after six months of trying even then they remain unpaid,” she had claimed.
Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan challenged anchorperson Hamid Mir to prove the allegations of corruption and misuse of power against her.
Taking to Twitter, she challenged the senior journalist to prove that she had misused her power while approving appointments in Press Information Department (PID). “Hamid Mir sahib, your journalism experience is more than my political experience. Do not leave this matter here. Show me the domicile of my constituency among the appointments I did in PID. If you cannot do this, then you have to admit that Maulana Tariq Jameel was telling the truth. Sach jaan kar geo [know the truth and live],” she tweeted.
She also said that during her tenure there were multiple pseudo-information ministers and were doing the job for her and may have hindered her progress at a few instances or confused the narrative she wanted to present as a government representative.
Sources close to the prime minister office told GVS that some ministers and spokespersons have disputes with Azam Khan, Principal Secretary to PM. Ms.Awan also was not comfortable being dictated by the secretary who was reportedly looking over her work.
The Principal Secretary to PM has recently been in the eye of the storm. Jahangir Khan Tareen (JKT) acknowledged that he has a long-running conflict with Azam Khan, PM Imran’s principal secretary. “When we came into power, I had a different vision on how to govern the country. He (Azam Khan) has a different one. I had told Azam Khan that the government’s job was not to enact incremental change but to transform the entire country,” Tareen said.