Azam Swati resigns as minister over authority abuse allegation


–Federal minister says he resigned to ‘uphold moral authority’ 


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Azam Swati on Thursday resigned as federal minister for science and technology to “uphold his moral authority”.

Swati, a senator belonging to PTI, allegedly played a role in the transfer of former Islamabad police chief Jan Mohammad — an allegation over which the SC took action against him.

According to reports, the former minister tendered his resignation during a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan. The premier has accepted his resignation and told Swati to present himself before the apex court in the ongoing misconduct case.

In his resignation, Swati stated: “To uphold my moral authority, I sent my resignation to PM and told him that I cannot work under such circumstances,” adding that now he will defend his case without any portfolio or authority.

The police official’s transfer took place after Swati’s son had registered a case against a family of slum dwellers for allegedly trespassing on his family’s land. Five people, including two women, were arrested for trespassing on the land and beating up Swati’s guards.

They were released after a day’s detention as police said a settlement had been reached between the minister and the detained family.

The altercation, coupled with the IGP’s transfer, had caught the attention of the media as well as the apex court.

The SC at one point had pondered taking action against Swati under Article 62 of the Constitution before forming a joint investigation team to probe the case.

On November 19, the court-formed JIT had held Swati and his employees responsible for the altercation that took place at his farmhouse and allegedly transpired into the police chief’s transfer.

Swati, regarding the IGP’s transfer, had earlier disclosed that the police chief was contacted on his mobile phone after making 38 calls and he promised action on his complaint against the neighbours. The next day, he had said, the IGP was approached again to get a follow-up and in response he replied: “No one has talked to you yet?”

On his attitude, “I lodged complaints with the prime minister, the Senate chairman, leader of the house and the state minister for interior,” the minister had said.

While this episode was unfolding, it had appeared that Swati’s family may have been encroaching upon government land, following which the Capital Development Authority had issued Swati’s wife, the owner of the property, a notice to remove encroachments and unauthorised construction from her farmhouse in 15 days.