LAHORE: In a surprise move on Saturday two PML-N ministers – Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and Punjab Health Minister Khawaja Salman Rafique tendered resignation from their respective offices, citing personal reasons.
In a written resignation to Prime Minister Shehbaz Shehbaz, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said that he held the portfolio of Federal Minister for Economic Affairs in the Centre in addition to assisting the prime minister on political as well parliamentary affairs. He wrote: “I am unable to carry out both the responsibilities. Therefore, I tender resignation as Federal Minister for Economic Affairs. However, I will available round the clock to work for the betterment of the party.”
Also, Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz Saturday approved the resignation of Punjab Health Minister Khawaja Salman Rafique. Kh Salman Rafiq has tendered his resignation to Punjab CM over personal reasons.
It is to be noted that Kh Salman Rafique is the second ministerial-level resignation of coalition government at the federal and provincial level, after PML-N Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq also tendered his resignation to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif over personal reasons.
Both the ministers are from Lahore.
Kh Salman Rafiq’s elder brother, Kh Saad Rafiq is also a Federal Minister for Railways and Aviation
However, sources privy to the development claimed that both the ministers have resigned from their ministries to take part in the upcoming by-elections to 20 seats of Punjab Assembly scheduled to be held on July 17. The sources claimed that both the ministers resigned following a well-thought out plan devised by the PML-N leadership to win the by-elections at all costs. “The critical situation on the ground, especially in Lahore forced the PML-N leadership to change their strategy for a victory in the by-polls,” they added.