KP advisor sacked for suspicious audio


Bureau Report

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on Saturday removed Ajaml Wazir as an adviser to the chief minister on information and public relations.
Chief Minister’s Special Assistant for local government, Kamran Bangash has been given the additional portfolio of KP information and public relations.
Ajmal Wazir Khan was appointed as new KP information adviser back in March 2020. He replaced senior minister Shaukat Yousafzai.
Wazir, who belongs to Shakai valley in South Waziristan, had joined the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf just before the July 2018 general election. He was earlier a member of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-i-Azam and had remained its central vice-president.
Earlier in Feb, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government had made major reshuffling in provincial cabinet. As per the notification, nine special assistants and two new ministers had been inducted in the provincial cabinet of KP.
Shahram Khan Tarakai had been made Health minister, Hasham Inamullah, social welfare, Akbar Ayub, Elementary and Secondary Education and Dr Amjad Ali has been given the portfolio of Minerals and Mines minister. Ajmal Wazir has been removed from his position as information adviser to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister, a notification from the provincial government revealed on Saturday.
Wazir has been replaced by Kamran Bangash, who is also the special assistant to the chief minister for local government, elections and rural development.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, the notification added. The action has been taken under Section 3 of KP Advisers and Special Assistants to the Chief Minister (Appointment) Act, 1989. The reason behind Wazir’s removal is said to be a leaked audio clip and allegations that he received commission from an advertising agency. “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 compromising 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.