Federal Science Minister Fawad Chaudhry feels that news of Special Assistant to the PM on Health Dr Zafar Mirza and Special Assistant to the PM on Digital Pakistan Tania Aidrus resigning from their posts is being highlighted more than it should be.
“Frankly, it’s not a big political event,” he told SAMAA TV anchorperson Kiran Aftab Ahmed on Thursday.
“Special assistants aren’t part of the federal cabinet. They are technocrats. They only attend cabinet meetings when invited because they are experts in their respective fields.”
Chaudhry was all praise for both Dr Mirza and Aidrus. He said both performed well, but their appointments had caused “a few problems”.
The federal minister claimed that confusion emerged when Aidrus was invited to head the Digital Pakistan initiative because this is actually the National Information Technology Board’s responsibility.
They were confused about who will work to digitise the country so she decided to step down, Chaudhry claimed.
However, in her tweet, Aidrus said she was resigning because “the recent discourse in the public sphere about her Canadian nationality will bar her from executing on the long term vision for a Digital Pakistan”.
Aidrus is a former Google executive who was appointed special assistant in February 2020.
She faced criticism after the cabinet division published the assets and citizenships of the special assistants and advisers in prime minister’s cabinet. Aidrus is a Canadian national with a Singaporean residency.
Dr Mirza hasn’t given a reason yet for stepping down from his post.