ISLAMABAD - Following the criticism on dual nationality issue and negative discussion about the role of special assistants to prime minister, Tania Aidrus and Dr. Zafar Mirza yesterday resigned from their offices of Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Digital Pakistan and National Health portfolios respectively.

Reliable sources informed The Nation that both the SAPMs have been asked to resign from the portfolios because Tania Aidrus had been asked to clarify position on her information technology company but she could not give a satisfactory answer.

While it has also been learnt that Dr. Zafar Mirza has been facing allegations of appointing his friends as consultants on hefty packages in the Ministry of Health and DRAP and was also criticized for a controversy over alleged import of raw material of medicines from India. Dr Zafar Mirza is also facing National Accountability Bureau (NAB) investigation in this regard.

There are some other SAPMs who are dual nationals but there is no law that bars a dual national from working as special assistant to PM.

According to officials, the PM had accepted the resignations of both Tania and Dr Zafar. They announced their resignation through Twitter messages.

Tania Aidrus posted her resignation in her tweet message and said, “Criticism levied towards the state as a consequence of my citizenship status is clouding the purpose of Digital Pakistan. In the greater public interest, I have submitted my resignation from the SAPM role. I will continue to serve my country and the PM’s vision to my best ability.”

She further said in her resignation letter, “It has been an honour and privilege to serve you since earlier this year. I am grateful to you for reposing your trust in me.”

“I returned to Pakistan with the singular intent to contribute and develop the vision of a Digital Pakistan, a concept which you have always voiced and I share. I always was and shall be a Pakistani,” she said.

She remarked that it is unfortunate that a Pakistani’s desire to serve Pakistan is clouded by such issues.

Just after an hour of her resignation, Dr. Zafar Mirza also announced to resign from the portfolio of Special Assistant to PM on National Health.

In his tweets, he said, “I have resigned as SAPM. I came to Pakistan on a personal invitation of Imran Khan leaving WHO. I worked hard & 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. Due to ongoing negative discussion about the role of SAPMs & criticism on the gov, I choose to resign. Pakistani people deserve a better health care. I have worked sincerely to contribute to this cause. Pakistan will Inshallah emerge out of COVID-19 with a stronger health care system.”