Why SAPM Tania Aidrus and Zafar Mirza resigned?


Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Zafar Mirza and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Digital Pakistan Tania Aidrus has submitted their resignation to PM Imran Khan seeking different reasons of their resignations. Tania Aidrus cited   “greater public interest” and criticism  over her "citizenship" status as a main reasons of her resignation. While Zafar Mirza cited  “ongoing negative discussion about the role of SAPMs and criticism on the government” as the reason for his decision.

The dual nationality is not seems the reason of the both resignation. There are still two dual nationality holders working as SAPMs. Tania Aidrus was also considered close to Jahangir Tareen and her resignation was on the cards. The issue of Digital Pakistan Foundation is not new. This foundation was registered months ago.

 The Tania's resignation has nothing to do with conflict of interest as the government sources are giving the impression. Tania's resignation seems linked with PTI's internal matters. Jahangir Tareen group will wait for the final outcome of sugar mills investigations. They might react strongly if inquiries blame Tareen's role in profit taking, manipulation of market and tax avoidance. 

Two special assistants of Prime Minister Imran Khan quit the federal Cabinet today in a quick succession sparking a debate in media as to what had happened behind the doors. A public discussion erupted after the disclosure of assets and nationalities of some SAPMs. 

Some media have suggested that both were shown door by PM Imran Khan and asked to resign. both the SAPMs are trying to give the impression that they themselves decided to resign. But government sources contradict this impression and clearly stated that both were asked to resign. 


 The government sources linked the resignation with poor performance, allegations of conflict of interests and other issues. According to these sources Dr Zafar Mirza failed to complete the tasks assigned to him by the federal government including special steps for  curbing coronavirus pandemic, price controlling of medicines and improving the administrative system of the state-owned hospitals.

If the failure of Dr Zafar Mirza failed to complete the tasks assigned to him by the federal government including special steps for curbing coronavirus pandemic, price controlling of medicines and improving the administrative system of the state-owned hospitals then why the action hasn't taken against other senior officials. Why no action was taken against officials of DRAP and ministry of health services. SAPM alone cannot make all the important decisions. 

Only hospitals in Islamabad falls under federal health ministry. The rest of the state run hospitals fall under the provincial governments. If hospitals are the issue why the provincial health officials and minister in Punjab and KPK were not removed. 

How strange that on one hand, PTI government takes credit for controlling the coronavirus in  Pakistan and Dr Zafar  Mirza was part of government team. How could he be blamed alone when there were many people dealing with the situation. 

In my view both the resignations are an attempt to silent the critics who were   severely criticising the government on  the issue of dual nationalities of SAPMs. The government now try to take the credit for removing the SAPMs who were not performing well. 

PTI government has adopted a simple strategy to take credit for everything that positive happens and blame the others for mistakes. Both the SAPMs fell victim to this policy. Many more will be sacrificed to save the reputation of PM Imran khan. 

These resignations clearly indicates that everything is not seems fine within the government. The differences does exist between the elected and non-elected members of the cabinet. Both sides blame each others for the situation PTI government finds itself. 

                                                         Khalid Bhatti 

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