LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has withdrawn the charge of health ministry from Tahir Khalil Sindu but the latter has been asked to continue working as minority affairs minister. 

On Sunday, Tahir Khalil resigned as provincial minister after he was  scolded by the chief minister in a meeting held to review dengue situation in the province. The CM had reportedly questioned his performance to control dengue spread in Punjab.

 Sources say special assistant to CM on Health Khwaja Salman Rafiq may hold the health office. According to Sindhu, he has been hurt by the chief minister’s ‘insulting remarks’. Sindhu has rejected that dengue issue was behind his resignation.

He is of the view that it happened over the matter of not calling MNA Shaista Pervez Malik to the Cabinet committee meeting.  “The committee is constituted by the chief minster who picks up member names for meeting. I did not call Shaista since her name was not put on the invitation list.

This fetched insulting remarks in the presence of officers and other staff members of the ministry and given this situation, it was hard for to continue with the job,” he added.  Sindhu said he is a soldier of Nawaz Sharif and would remain so.

Meantime, despite repeated attempts contact with Sindh through cell phone could not be established. Sindhu was nominated by PML-N as member the Punjab Assembly against the seat reserved for minorities. Last month, Baitul Maal and Social Welfare Minister Ata Muhammad Maneka also went to the verge of quitting the ministry grumbling that no powers have been delegated to his office and that he is being meted out discriminatory treatment. Maneka had changed his mind after intervention from the PML-N leadership.