PESHAWAR: Ajmal Wazir has been removed as information adviser to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister over allegations that he received commission from an advertising agency.
Wazir has been replaced by Kamran Bangash, who is also the special assistant to the chief minister for local government, elections and rural development. Bangash will hold both portfolios, a notification said on Saturday.
The action has been taken under Section 3 of KP Advisers and Special Assistants to the Chief Minister (Appointment) Act, 1989.
“Ajmal Wazir was removed after a leaked audio [clip],” Bangash confirmed. “Some things have come to light regarding [Wazir] taking commissions from an advertising firm.”
Bangash said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had been informed of the matter and a forensic investigation will be held. He added that he will soon give the media a “detailed briefing” on the matter.
Additionally, a letter has also been written by the CM’s secretariat to the provincial chief secretary saying that KP chief minister has “desired to process a case for the fact-finding inquiry into recently surfaced audio tape of Mr Ajmal Khan Wazir.”
“The matter may be treated as most important and urgent,” the letter, dated July 11, said.
Asked about Wazir’s removal at a press conference in Islamabad, Information Minister Shibli Faraz said Prime Minister Imran “keeps an eye” on every single member of his team and anyone found comprising the party policy “has no place in the PTI”.
He said while there could be some unscrupulous elements within the PTI administration, “they will never get the government’s support and action will be taken against them”.
Wazir was appointed as the chief minister’s adviser in March this year. He had replaced Shaukat Yousufzai, who was then the provincial minister for information, while Wazir was the adviser to the chief minister on merged districts.
According to reports, the acrimonious relationship between Yousafzai and Wazir had led KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan to change their portfolios.