Minister of state Nabeel resigns
KARACHI / ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Shipping Nabeel Gabol sent his resignation to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Wednesday.
He told Dawn that he had sent his resignation by fax.
He said he had informed President Asif Ali Zardari and the prime minister that the people of his constituency in Lyari had expected after his election as a member of the National Assembly and appointment as a minister that their problems, particularly of unemployment, would be solved.
When he was in Karachi, hundreds of people from his constituency used to gather daily at his place with the hope of getting a job, but he failed to come up to their expectations and they returned disappointed.
Mr Gabol said the situation was embarrassing also for the PPP and he had been requesting the prime minister for about two years to relieve him of the post.
He said the people of Lyari had rendered a lot of sacrifices in the struggle for democracy and he did not know how he would face them in the next elections.
Although Mr Gabol cited ‘personal reasons’ for his resignation, sources said he had taken the step after getting a cold response from the party leadership over his ‘complaints and grievances’ regarding the working of his ministry.
The outspoken PPP leader, they said, had resigned in protest against not having been given complete authority of the ministry even after the resignation of Babar Ghauri of the MQM as minister for ports and shipping about three weeks ago.
Mr Gabol had been complaining to the president and the prime minister for two years about the lack of authority, but he did not get any response because of the sensitive nature of PPP’s political relationship with the MQM, they said.
After Mr Ghauri’s resignation Mr Gabol tried to assert his authority in the ministry, but failed to do so because of the influence of the ex-minister on officials, most of whom thought that he (Mr Ghauri) would retain his position, they said.
The sources said Mr Gabol had informed the PPP leadership several times that the MQM minister was recruiting people in the ministry in violation of rules.
He had written a letter to the chairman of the Port Qasim Authority (PQA), asking him to stop recruitment that was continuing even a week after Mr Ghauri’s resignation.
Mr Gabol, whose constituency is considered to be a PPP stronghold, had also expressed reservations while talking to media personnel over his party’s policy to handle the law and order situation in Karachi.
The party leadership had asked him not to participate in TV talk shows and not to speak on the PPP-MQM relationship and the situation in Karachi.
According to the sources, ANP’s leaders had recently complained to the president about some remarks made by Mr Gabol on a television channel.
Replying to a question, Mr Gabol said he had no differences with the leadership of his party or any coalition partner, including the MQM and the ANP. “I will continue to work as a worker of the PPP,” he added.
RAID: Soon after his resignation, police rounded up several guards of Mr Gabol from his residence on Kyaban-i-Ittead in DHA, Karachi.
He told a TV channel that his 11 guards had been taken away by police in a commando-style raid.
The police officers concerned were not available for comment.