Governor Punjab Chaudhry Sarwar resigned from his post on Thursday following a conversation with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over statements the governor had made regarding the government’s foreign policy.
Sources in the PM House told The Express Tribune the premier had principally decided to remove Sarwar owing to multiple reasons but particularly because of recent statement by Sarwar on the government’s failure to secure Obama’s visit to Pakistan.
Sarwar had censured the Foreign Office for US President Barack Obama visiting India and not Pakistan and termed it a “failure” on part of the country’s foreign policy.
“I sent my resignation to the President House and PM House last night,” Sarwar confirmed while speaking to Express News.
“I will address a press conference at 2pm today to share further details.”
Sarwar was reportedly eyeing the foreign minister’s post. However, according to sources, the prime minister had refused to accept his request.
Meanwhile, Sarwar posted the message below on his official Facebook page.
“I decided a while back that I want to resign because I was not being able to deliver what I wanted to the masses,” Sarwar said while addressing the media.
Elaborating on his decision, Sarwar said, “I also told Rana Sanaullah that I want to resign from my post.”
Denying earlier reports that the prime minister sought an explanation from him over his statements, Sarwar said, “No one asked me for an explanation nor asked me for a resignation.”
“I resigned of my own accord,” he asserted.
“It was my dream to serve Pakistanis and am thankful to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for giving me this opportunity.”
“I can serve Pakistan better out of office,” he added.
Further, Sarwar clarified he has no differences with the Sharif brothers.
“I have no objection to Obama’s India visit but he should have treated Pakistan equally and visited to express solidarity,” he said, clarifying his earlier statement regarding the US president visiting India but not Pakistan.
Later in the day, on a summary initiated by the Cabinet Division, the President Mamnoon Hussain has accepted the resignation of governor Punjab on the advice of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Sarwar, a former British MP, gave up his British nationality to serve Pakistan on the invitation of Sharif brothers.
Through his diplomatic efforts, Sarwar succeeded in getting GSP Plus status for the country.
Last year in October, it was reported Sarwar had decided to play a more active role in Pakistani politics from the PML-N platform. “Sarwar will resign as Punjab governor and assume responsibilities in the centre in a few days,” a person privy to the development had confided subject to anonymity.