Imran removes ministers, top bureaucrats after sugar and wheat scandals
06 Apr 2020
Imran Khan addresses the UN General Assembly in New York. File
Tariq Butt, Correspondent
Reacting to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) report about the sugar and wheat scandals, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday removed some concerned ministers, advisers and bureaucrats.
In Punjab, Food Minister Samiullah resigned. Dera Ghazi Khan commissioner Nasim was sidelined as he was the provincial food secretary when the sugar and wheat shortages occurred last year.
Khusro Bakhtiar, who is one of the principal sugar mill owner and got substantial export subsidy, was removed as federal food minister and made the minister for economic affairs division.
Jahangir Tareen, who was the chairman of the agriculture task force, was also removed. However, Tareen said he was never notified as the task force chief.
Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Syed Fakhar Iman was made the federal food minister. The prime minister also sacked his confidant, Arbab Shahzad, as adviser on establishment.
Adviser on industries and chairman of the sugar advisory board Razzak Dawood was also dismissed.
Hammad Azhar, who was serving as the minister of state for economic affairs division, was made minister for industries. Azam Sawati, who was minister for parliamentary affairs, was made the minister for Narcotics Control. Babar Awan was appointed as the adviser for parliamentary affairs.
Khalid Maqbool Siddique’s resignation as federal minister was accepted and instead the nominee of his party, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Aminul Haq was inducted in the cabinet.
Meanwhile, Tareen told reporters that the FIA findings were a "political report,” which has been prepared at the behest of Azam Khan, the principal secretary of Prime Minister Imran Khan.