Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Monday formally offered a federal cabinet position to Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar, who informed the premier that he had made up his mind to quit the office of governor as his position did not allow him to take any practical steps to help the poor masses and requested the premier to accept his resignation, Pakistan Today has learnt reliably.
A Governor’s House’s source confided in Pakistan Today that Sarwar did not respond to the premier’s offer as he was in two minds whether or not to accept the job at the Center as “he also has an offer to join Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)”.
The PM offered the governor the post of federal minister for overseas Pakistanis.
“The PM assured the governor that as federal minister for overseas Pakistanis, he would be in a position to help resolve all the problems faced by the overseas Pakistani and that he would also be in a better position to woo foreign investors to invest in Pakistan,” the source said.
WHAT’S THE LEGAL POSITION?
Meanwhile, legal experts stand divided over whether Sarwar would face a two-year bar to enter active politics after resigning as governor.
“The posts of the president and governor are ceremonial and have no executive powers. Any governor or president may join active politics as soon as he steps down or completes his respective term and will not be barred from political activities for two years after resignation,” said noted jurist SM Zafar.
However, Justice (r) Tariq Chaudhry opined, “Sarwar can only be made an advisor to the PM with the status of a federal minister as he is not a member of parliament.”
SHAHBAZ’S ATTITUDE LEAVES BAD TASTE IN SARWAR’S MOUTH:
When asked about the reason for the governor’s decision to quit his post, the source said that the governor believes that the governor’s office has no powers and also because he was mistreated by the Sharif family on several occasions.
Sources said that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was supposed to accompany the premier during the meeting with the governor but he skipped the meeting at the last minute, further irking Sarwar who is already annoyed with the “aggressive and hegemonic” style of the premier’s younger brother.
“The governor has also been deprived of all accommodations allocated for his office. Murree Governor’s House is being used by the PM and his family; the annexe reserved in Punjab House for the Punjab governor and his guests has been occupied by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and the Punjab CM,” the source said.
“Whenever the governor or his guests visit the federal capital, they are advised to go to the Rawalpindi annexe. So the governor feels humiliated and is more likely to part ways with the Sharif government rather than accepting the PM’s offer,” the source added.