Information minister says government will announce new governor at later time
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government on Sunday removed Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar from his post, with Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain saying a replacement will be named later.
The announcement came mere hours before the National Assembly is set to vote on the opposition’s no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan, as well as a session of the Punjab Assembly that is set to elect a new leader of the house following the resignation of Usman Buzdar.
“The federal government has removed Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar,” Fawad wrote on Twitter. “The new Punjab governor will be announced at a later time. Under the Constitution, the deputy speaker [of the Punjab Assembly] will serve as the acting governor [for now],” he added.
While the government has not provided any reasons for Sarwar’s ouster, journalist Hamid Mir claimed that the former governor had alleged the federal government had sacked him on the demand of Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid) leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi. “He [Sarwar] told me that the Prime Minister’s Office was forcing him to unconstitutional things, which he refused. He said the federal government wanted me to delay today’s session of the Punjab Assembly,” he wrote in a posting on Twitter.
Elahi is being fielded as the PTI’s candidate for the next chief minister of Punjab against the united opposition’s Hamza Shahbaz. The PMLQ had abruptly pledged its support for Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier this week, despite repeatedly hinting it was with the opposition, after Elahi had been offered the chief minister slot.
Sarwar is a former member of the British parliament who returned to Pakistan in 2013 and subsequently joined the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz). The party then made him the Punjab governor after winning the 2013 general elections. He resigned from the post in January 2015 and joined the PTI shortly thereafter. He was appointed the governor of Punjab once again in September 2018 after the PTI came to power.