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KP Caretaker Cabinet Resigns Amid Election Commission's Directive

A total of 19 cabinet members submitted their resignation letters to the caretaker chief minister.

by TNN Editor - 10 Aug, 2023 1515

Abdul Hakeem Mohmand

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa caretaker cabinet has tendered their resignations following the directive from the Election Commission. A total of 19 cabinet members submitted their resignation letters to the caretaker chief minister.

Among the resigning members are Masood Shah, Abdul Halim Kasuria, Irshad Qaiser, Muhammad Ali Shah, Hidayatullah, Salma Begum, and Riaz Anwar.

Others who stepped down include Pir Haroon Shah, Shiraz Akram, Malik Maher Elahi, Hamid Shah, and Bakht Nawaz. Additionally, Haji Ghufran, Fazl e Elahi, Taj Muhammad, Himayatullah, Zafar Mehmood, and Rehmat Salam Khattak resigned as well. Members of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) also opted for resignation, seeking respite.

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The provincial cabinet consisted of 16 ministers, four advisers, and six special assistants. The resignations were accepted by Chief Minister Azam Khan. Meanwhile, the JUI ministers have requested an extension until evening to finalize their resignations. The process of forming a new cabinet has been initiated.

Caretaker Chief Minister Azam Khan will continue to hold his position, while a supervisory cabinet comprising non-political individuals will be assembled for the province. It's noteworthy that the Election Commission of Pakistan had instructed the Caretaker Chief Minister to remove cabinet members with political affiliations.

Speaking to TNN, Feroze Jamal Shah Kakakhel, the Caretaker Minister of Information, Endowments, and Religious Affairs, revealed that Chief Minister Azam Khan had convened a meeting with all the cabinet members, where they collectively resigned in accordance with the Election Commission's guidelines for the Provincial Caretaker Cabinet.

Out of the present cabinet members, 19 submitted their resignations to the Chief Minister. The remaining five members who were out of town have requested until evening to submit their resignations. The Caretaker Information Minister informed that Chief Minister Azam Khan will consolidate the resignations and send a summary to the Governor. Subsequently, the Caretaker members will be relieved, and non-political members will be inducted into the cabinet.

It's pertinent to mention that Azam Khan was appointed as the caretaker Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on January 21, 2023, following the dissolution of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly by Tehreek-e-Insaf. He took the oath of office on the same day. On January 26, Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ghulam Ali administered the oath of the caretaker cabinet at the Governor's House.

On July 31, the Election Commission directed the Chief Minister to remove ministers with political affiliations from the cabinet. In correspondence from the Election Commission to the caretaker chief minister, it was emphasized that certain ministers, advisers, and special assistants were appointed based on political connections.

The letter called for the immediate denotification of ministers, assistants, and advisers involved in political activities.