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Two Top Aides To Pakistani Prime Minister Step Down Over Criticism


Zafar Mirza (left) and Tania Aidrus (combo photo)

ISLAMABAD – Two special assistants to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan have resigned from their posts amid criticism of the government over its handling of the coronavirus crisis and revelations about the dual citizenship of cabinet members.

Khan's government has been under increasing fire from opposition parties and the media since it made public on July 18 details of the assets and nationalities of the 20 advisers and special assistants to the prime minister.

Four of them were said to hold dual citizenships, including the special assistant on digital Pakistan, Tania Aidrus, who stepped down on July 29.

Aidrus, who holds Pakistani and Canadian citizenships, wrote on Twitter that she had submitted her resignation “in the greater public interest.”

"Criticism levied towards the state as a consequence of my citizenship status is clouding the purpose of digital Pakistan,” Aidrus said.

Shortly afterward, the special assistant on health, Zafar Mirza, who was overseeing the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic, also announced his resignation.

Mirza tweeted that he made the decision due to the "negative discussion about the role of [special assistants to the prime minister] and criticism of the government."

Pakistan has reported more than 276,000 coronavirus cases and over 6,900 deaths.

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