Federal Minister for Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, who tendered her tearful resignation during a cabinet meeting on Sunday, must be relaxed now that the Prime Minister has refused to accept it. Not only this, Mr Gilani assured her that he would look into her complaints about running the ministry effectively. The encounter between Mr Gilani and Dr Awan was unique in the sense that never before has such a high-pitched emotional drama been witnessed during a cabinet session. Her adversaries say she was preparing to join Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf. This was averted by the President’s timely intervention, who called the PM on phone and asked him not to accept her resignation. While some allege Mr Gilani asked her to tender her resignation as a result of dissastisfaction with her ministry’s performance, on the other hand, Dr Awan has a completely different story to tell. Media reports suggest that she was very uncomfortable due to interference and meddling of various persons in the day-to-day affairs of her ministry. Without naming, she said that there were at least four persons who were acting as information ministers and spokesmen of the government. She said the worst thing that could happen to her was that a non-ministry person had been invited to conduct the briefing of the federal cabinet despite the fact that the Information Minister was the chief spokesperson of the government. Another report says that she was also unhappy over the fact that a former information minister was still using the bullet-proof vehicle, plus three cars and secretarial staff of her ministry. Another thing that made Dr Awan uncomfortable was that she could not shuffle senior officials of her ministry because summaries sent to the Prime Minister’s Secretariat were neither approved nor returned to her office with any objection.

All said and done, Dr Awan’s resignation has fully depicted the state of affairs under which the various ministries are functioning. The Prime Minister should take immediate notice of such lapses and allow Dr Awan to at least have a team of her choice to produce the required results. At the same time Mr Gilani must put in place some sort of monitoring system about the functioning of important ministries. Without this system, it is hard to imagine that the dream of good governance will be translated into reality.