SAs to PM resign

July 31, 2020

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It turn out that Special Advisor to Prime Minister on Digital Pakistan Dr Tania Aidrus and Special Advisor to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza have quit the cabinet over what is surely criticism from the opposition over their dual nationality status. So now who’s going to lose out the most? These two individuals, among many others, had so selflessly chosen to work from Pakistan and Pakistanis, and now both Pakistan and Pakistanis are going to feel their absence. Dr Aidrus was airlifted all the way from Google to serve Prime Minister Imran Khan and Pakistan. We are way behind the rest of the world in terms of digital technology. And if we are to progress in this day and age, digital technology has to be our leading light.

Dr Zafar Mirza, on the other hand, had a pretty significant part to play in bringing the numbers of both new infections and deaths down in the country. And the cabinet is now going to feel his absence in formalising the way forward. Should this progress now be reversed, the whole nation and all its expatriates will pay for it. All that could lead us to not justg being blacklisted abroad, but our remittances could also be compromised, and unable to contribute to the squeaking economy. It has taken so much to keep this economy functioning and away from the direction that would surely lead it to collapse. That has taken not just relief packages from the federal government but also concessionary loans from the central bank, which has kept jobs intact till now.

So, what’s next? Special Advisor to Prime Minister on Economy Dr Hafeez Shaikh also quits? And where would that leave us? As of now his signature is needed on any document finalised by the cabinet as a relief package. If he now goes, who will the prime minister appoint in his place? Or will he sign those papers himself, since he is the de facto finance minister of Pakistan as well? These are ominous signs and lead to tough decisions, both from the PM’s personal point of view and keeping in mind the whole country for which he is solely responsible. Hopefully no more SAs to PM will quit and this domino effect will not allowed to be built. It is in everybody’s interest, every Pakistani and Pakistan as a whole, that the PM’s cabinet remains whole at this sensitive point in our history.

Dr Zafar Mirza, on the other hand, had a pretty significant part to play in bringing the numbers of both new infections and deaths down in the country. And the cabinet is now going to feel his absence in formalising the way forward.

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