Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Digital Pakistan Tania Aidrus and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza announced on Wednesday that they were resigning from their posts.
Their resignations come days after the opposition lambasted the government following the latter’s move to make public details of the assets and dual nationalities of 20 advisers and special assistants to the prime minister.
Two notifications issued by the Cabinet Division said Prime Minister Imran Khan had accepted both Aidrus and Mirza’s resignations.
Aidrus said she was resigning from her post due to recent criticism levelled against her and the government because of her dual citizenship.
In a tweet, Aidrus said: “Criticism levied towards the state as a consequence of my citizenship status is clouding the purpose of Digital Pakistan”.
Shortly after Aidrus announced her resignation, Mirza took to Twitter to do the same. He said that he had come to Pakistan on the personal invitation of the premier after leaving the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“I worked hard and honestly. It was a privilege to serve Pakistan. I am satisfied that I leave at a time when Covid -19 has declined in Pakistan as a result of a grand national effort.”
He added that he had made the decision over the “negative discussion about the role of SAPMs and criticism of the government”.
“Pakistani people deserve better healthcare. I have worked sincerely to contribute to this cause. Pakistan will Inshallah emerge out of Covid-19 with a stronger healthcare system.”
Prime Minister Khan had launched the Digital Pakistan programme in December last year and named Aidrus, a Google executive who quit her position, to lead the initiative. Later in February, she was appointed as SAPM on Digital Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Mirza was assigned the portfolio of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination in April 2019 and was engaged in overseeing the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Prior to this, he was working as director of Health System Development at the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean.