KP removes 3 Ministers over discipline breach

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PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government has removed its three ministers from their positions who were allegedly the masterminds of ‘a pressure group’, media reported on Sunday. The notification stated the removal of three ministers including Muhammad Atif Khan, Shahram Khan Tarakai and Shakeel Ahmed. It is pertinent to mention here that Muhammad Atif Khan was performing duties as KP minister for tourism, sports, culture and youth affairs. Shahram Khan Tarakai was KP minister for local government, health and information technology (IT) and Shakeel Ahmed was minister for revenue and estate. Sources told media that the three ministers were allegedly acting as the masterminds of ‘a pressure group’ against the provincial government led by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). KP information minister Shaukat Yousafzai said the leaders had opposed the policies set by the government and involved in the grouping for a long time. He added the ministers had been given warnings many times and the matter was also raised before the Prime Minister Imran Khan. Yousafzai said the government has taken the final decision today after the ministers did not accept to following the policies. He further said the ministers were only removed from their position so far while the ruling political party will take the next decision regarding their membership later. “It is the prime responsibility of lawmakers to present among nationals for resolving their issues. We have also removed 20 people in past over the violation of party rules. The activities of the three ministers were denting the image of the ruling political party and the provincial government.” Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information, Firdous Ashiq Awan, has also confirmed the decision that the provincial ministers faced the action over violating party rules. She said the people have the right to express their difference of opinion complying with the legal procedures. Awan hinted that the government will take action over such violations in future as well. Earlier on January 20, a forward bloc had emerged in the ruling Pakistan Tehreeke-Insaf (PTI) in Punjab Assembly. The newly-emerged forward bloc has reportedly joined by a large number of Members of Provincial Assembly (MPAs) belonging to South and Central Punjab. Sources revealed that the number of the bloc’s members reaches near 30 so far. It emerged that the dissident members were annoyed for not being taken into confidence over large-scale transfers in bureaucracy and issuance of development funds. Sources added the disgruntled members had held two meetings with a month with the Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar. Agencies add: Three ministers have been kicked out of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet, allegedly for conspiring against Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on Sunday. A notification has been issued by Governor Shah Farman, removing Muhammad Atif Khan who held the portfolio of senior minister for sports, tourism, culture and youth affairs, Health Minister Shehram Khan Tarakai and Revenue and Estate Minister Shakeel Ahmed. CM Khan met the prime minister and told him that some ministers had been forming groups to conspire against him. Their portfolios will either be given to other ministers already in the cabinet or new ministers will be inducted. The issues between these minister and the CM sprung up when the CM was appointed. For now they have been removed from the cabinet, but they could see further action against them.