Tania Aidrus was sacked, did not resign

SAPM made to sign resignation letter by Prime Minister's Principal Secretary Azam Khan

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ISLAMABAD: Tania Aidrus, special assistant to the prime minister on e-governance and head of the much-touted Digital Pakistan Vision initiative, has announced to resign from her post citing recent criticism levelled against her and the government due to her dual nationality.

Sharing the signed resignation letter on her Twitter page, she wrote, “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.”

Tania left her job of 12 years at Google where she served in various leadership roles, her last one being “Director, Product, Payments for Next Billion Users”, to join PM Imran Khan’s Digital Pakistan initiative in February, and was appointed SAPM for the same purpose.

Profit has learnt that this resignation was on the cards for close to two months, which is when Jehangir Tareen was practically ousted from the party due to the sugar crisis probe and was the one who arranged the first meeting between Aidrus and the PM last year that materialized into the latter’s vision for ‘Digital Pakistan’. Sources told Profit that Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Azam Khan invited the former SAPM to his office this morning, where Advisor to the Prime Minister on Accountability Barrister Mirza Shahzad Akbar was also present. There she was asked to sign the resignation letter.

When she protested and asked to speak to the prime minister, she was told that this resignation was not optional, that she had to sign it and the PM would not be able to speak to her. Therefore, while the letter points to criticism on Aidrus; foreign nationality being the chief reason for her resignation, the actual motives behind her removal are much different.

As confirmed by Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry in an interview, infighting within the PTI between Jehangir Tareen, Asad Umar and Shah Mehmood Qureshi restricted the party from performing well. Mr. Tareen’s attempt to limit the role of the bureaucracy in federal government business was reportedly fiercely opposed by Azam Khan. The sugar crisis probe provided an opportunity for an ‘anti-Jehangir Tareen camp’ to push him out of the party.

Rumours of difficulties between Tania and CEO of National Information Technology Board (NITB) Shabahat Ali Shah are also not unheard of. Sources privy to the progress of Digital Pakistan revealed that there was an expectation from Tania that she would arrange funding from international donors such as World Bank for Digital Pakistan but no such deals were ever finalized. These reasons also contributed to her being removed.

Last month, Profit published a report in which the role and status of a non-profit organization by the name of “Digital Pakistan Foundation” (DPF) was questioned as it had on its board Tania Aidrus, Jehangir Khan Tareen and  Careem CEO Mudassar Sheikha. That the company was registered as a separate entity under with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) exactly one week prior to her appointment as the SAPM, raised concerns of a conflict of interest as the DPF was created to compliment the Digital Pakistan Initiative (DPI) that would come directly under the Prime Minister’s Office, headed by Tania Aidrus. According to a report by ARY, Tania was unable to satisfy the PM on the role and circumstances under which the DPF was created and was therefore removed from here SAPM role.

Profit’s made repeated attempts to contact Tania Aidrus and Mirza Shahzad Akbar for comment but failed to get any response.

 

63 COMMENTS

    • When it comes to bailing out the country time and again they dont blink an eye in reaching out with a begging bowl and accepting donations from overseas Pakistanis but they cant accept these dual citizen Pakistanis who want to provide their unique expertise acquired while living overseas. Shame. The country and its leaders deserve neither.

  1. Tania was brought in but was not given enough resources and support to perform. Without an infrastructure it is hard for a foreign expert to perform in Pakistan. Secondly, Civil servants are not ready to adopt e-governance, they are not computer experts, they need to be given two extra salaries per year for adopting e-governance. After all e-governance is going to save government Rupees three hundred billion per anum.

    • Having successful experience in Siemens, Shell, British Oxygen I flexed my muscle to do Digital Transformation in State Bank for 15 years but the Groups of hard core Baboos created hurdles jointly and individually. inspire of their extreme opposition Allmighty Allah blessed with huge success in installation of Pakistanis first Electronic Remittances System which enhanced remittances from $ 7 billion in 2009 to $ 21 billion in 2020.

      • What is the point in spending 15 years for a year or two’s work? Not everyone is blessed with so much time. You may have waited for 13 years for them to realise what they are missing, to do your bit in two years.

    • Absolutely true. The e-governance will plug the اُوپر کی کمائی of blood sucking leaches sitting in government. They will go to any extent so as not to let automation / digitalisation take over their rotten manual systems.

    • U were no supposed to accept this task due to tripple nationality u have, on other hand civil beaurocracy is a big hurdle, I m sorry to say ur love with Pakistan is suspicious. I believe that u have a bright future and they will be lucky to whome u will serve.

  2. Hey, what do you mean “sorry for tania”. She’s a millionaire. Did she come to ‘digitally advance’ pakistan because of some moral obligation she felt? Seems not. Conflict of interests. Period.

    • She is millionaire because of her higher education and intelligence and she deserved for a very high post in Digital Pakistan. I’m sorry IK couldn’t held it nicely. Sorry Mr. Imran Khan not only you, but Pakistan as well. And a real tribute to those PTI members who can’t even face opposition members on tvs. Their lips become silence because they can not understand lip reads of opposition.

      • What do you mean by high post, isn’t a special assistant to the PM considered to be a very high post in Pakistan. Should’ve IK given her his own position?

        • no she did not had control over secretaries, secretaries head departments and report to Ministers, or equalaint of minister, she was not given that lead.

  3. Why do our ppl feel they have to compensate ‘young’ affluent individuals from abroad with an apology, when these ppl resigned for a job THEY signed up for. Complexive a little? yeah

  4. Overseas Pakistanis cannot work in a corrupt and beurocratic Pakistan.
    Foreign exchequer or remmitances are the only thing welcomed here but we the overseas Pakistanis are treated like Shoodars here in govt circles.
    Why so much of hues and cries on dual nationality? Their money is patriotic but they are traitors?
    Once we work and do business abroad successfully we usually are welcomed by the countries where we work and create jobs but in our own country we cannot even contest elections or even hold a public office. They allow us to get national nationalities and contest for the legislatures but shameful as to how we are treated in Pakistan.
    Though I never opted for the citizenship abroad but people get a lot of facilities with that and they are fully justified in getting the citizenship and enjoy the perks as they are not welcome in Pakistan for other than the money that they send. Disappointed.

        • What tf do you mean by 2 2 mazay? They are the citizens of Pakistan and they have every right to live/work/buy in Pakistan irrespective of their multiple nationalities. Do you not understand the power/rights a Pakistani CNIC holds?

    • that is not the case, as she was founded by Jahangir Tareen, now being disowned, as Dr Zafar Mirza, he was also JT team. So internal politics is ruining PTI

    • It’s a long debate. Without pledging your full loyalty and yr resolve to put and act in the “national” interest of the country you’re choosing to seek nationality of, you know you’ll never get the nationality.

      So simply put, if you want to be a minister or a parliamentarian or be part of the ruling elite and really serve the country in earnest then have the guts and opt out of dual nationality to be fully eligible and trustworthy..just as Governor Punjab did. He also faced problems initially but prevailed politically.

  5. Typical of Pakistan. Just a few months back, with a lot of hype and fanfare, the Pakis hired some ex-Google person who was unheard of outside of Pakiland, and started having some wet dreams about ‘Digital Pakistan’. As with all such Paki hype, it was just a matter of time before it was going to fall flat on it’s face.

    Looks like most of the foreign advisors were hired to improve Pakistan’s image overseas and to facilitate funding. As you very well know Pakistan has two issues only: Image and money

    • How about you build the image of incompetent rundian army, as we all know the two biggest problems of rundia, the army that doesn’t perform and slum.

      • Such a silly comment….Indian army f** + ed Paki army multiple times including splitting Pakistan even when then Super power USA sent their 7th fleet to Bay of Bengal. However the worlds most incompetent army (Paki army if you didnt get it) continues to take 50% of Paki budget and gets no results other than the Tag called Terroristan for Pakistan. Poor dumb pakis….Now go beg for your country with begging bowls..Didnt Im the dim give you begging bowls yet…Oh..Oh..he needs to get money to give begging bowls also…😂 😂 😂

        • From your reply you sound like 12 years old sexually frustrated Endian. Go and fuck your cow aur apna randi rona wahin karo.

          • Don’t waste your time brother, his comment is not even worth considering. Just a frustrated obnoxious little brat.

      • Just remember 1971 war. 93000 paki army rats surrendered with pants down to Indian army. Your rouge army who refused to accept their dead soldiers in Kargil war. The only army in the world who lost all wars and still run the country. Thank you Jinhna for the partition. Imagine another 400 million idiots in India.

    • Having been in Google is not a criteria. We have competent people in-house, so why not hire them instead of these proud ex-Pakistanisc who have no loyalty to this country? Their real face can be seen on lots of forums where they seem humiliating the country who raised them to current level. I’m a senior director in local company and probably would never leave my country no matter how difficult life is..

  6. The criticism never had any legal implications so it shouldn’t matter. If some people criticized her then many supported her as well. Her excuse for hightailing is akin to someone saying she is fat, the excuse is borderline dishonest.

  7. I myself am a former civil servant. Uniformity of civil service functioning can’t bring a change in Pakistan. Digital India program of Modi is bringing change in india. It is unfortunate in Pakistan that firstly, Dr Umer saif was removed and now Tania has been forced to resign. Pity thy nation where real change is rebutted.

  8. I agree that real change is being seen as a threat to the system. In fact civil service structure needs a change to bring specifically qualified people to cater for the needs of new challenges

  9. Its unfortnate that the best talent is hounded by petty bureaucrats in Pakstan. Tania came voluntarily and is way above Azam Khans intellect. Imran the loose of ears could have asked Azam Khan to tell Tania what is politically correct in this unfortunate landLakistan. Tania stick it out Pakistan needs you girl.

  10. Genius people are not required in Pakistan only people like Sarwar Khan Minister of Aviation, Murad Saeed , Dr Gill And ……… are required here .

  11. Coming back to serve the country is one thing, but our expatriates are quite smart; there’s no free lunch. Creating a company under wraps without mentioning it just a week before her appointment is quite a telling and shocking, if not squarely a peak on the dishonest agenda. Expatriates should not come back just for their own vested interests under the garb of serving the country. We already have politicians.

  12. Truth likes bang in the middle for sure. Any expat Pakistani returning home should be prepared to face hostility and non-cooperation. Change brings lot of threat and uncertainty and civil service and other branches have their own agendas threatened. This is expected and happens in many countries. I think in all this expectations were misaligned and perhaps the TOR was not set straight to begin with. If she she had other interests than she should have declared it upfront. In any case i think you have to be strong willed and thick skinned and perhaps her desire to do good was not ultimately strong enough. Sad.

  13. Well…. It has been proven….

    Tania Aidrus…. Google failed to recognize u… But our Government System did…

  14. This puts another big question mark on the leadership of PM. He allures best Pakistani human resource with established and recognized standing and pedigree across the world and then fail to provide them with conducive working environment. All the reasons given here, specially the dual nationality, were well known to PM before making her resign at her previous job and joining here as SAPM. It has happened in the past that he brought in people with questionable sects in the country to serve and then made them leave because of the same kind of criticism. Now another talent is wasted just because of poor leadership. He doesn’t have the spine to face his assistants at the time of their departure. He didn’t dare meeting Firdous Awan, now this one.
    Nut in a shell, Khan is not that leader what we all thought of him. He lacks making tough decisions. He lacks vision on how a decision will turn out in the long run. He is a sportsman and sportsmen are trained on muscle memory: practice and deliver. Now he is playing an infinite game and here he needs an infinite mindset. That means he is meeting everything unexpected and here he is failing because he is unable to anticipate.
    As a true leader, he is meant to protect his people, save his people and remove hurdles from their path so they can deliver. He is failing at every front. I feel sorry for Tania; heroes in the rest of the world are failing in Pakistan. What a misery.

    • Im the dim is not a leader..he is a dummy in the hands of the puppeteers. He cannot govern, he cannot stand for his own team and has no idea how to build a team and get it to deliver results. He is Trump on drugs. How can he deliver anything if he keeps hiring and firing away people. Poor overseas pakis, they dont get anything…

  15. I voted for PTI twice. 2013 and 2018. Such a shame this has become. Not a single sector where I can see things making progress actually benefiting the ‘naujawan’. Numbers should speak. Trump wanted to ‘Make Amercia Great Again’ and here we have Imran Khan who had the same vision. You removed Atif Mian as well because he was a Qadiyani and with him 2 to 3 other economic gurus left. I think both are failing or have failed miserably. This is actually very troubling.

  16. Self dignity, self esteem, honesty and trust of our Pakistani people particularly at the helms of affairs has made every individual vulnerable and doubtful entity and we look at people with suspicion with regard to their financial positions and character. Behind every good fortune there is an organized evil seems befitting for our Pakistan society and only used else where Our confidence and trust is been tarnished and got set back at the hands of these people. Ex. CJP iftekhar choudry, Chairman NAB, judge arshad Malik, Jehangir tareen, Usmani buzdar, rehman malik, BB, bilawal, Sherien rehman,(Cynthia Richie leaks) IK(accrding to Reham khan) are ample proof. And to whom in this country do we trust now ? There is acute shortage of Sadiq and Ameen in this country.

  17. Only problem is that a woman can have one husband at a time. Same goes for nationality, so be either Pakistani or a foreigner. Tania was born in Canada. She must renounce it to confirm that she shall be loyal Pakistani.

    • So you’re gonna judge her based not on her talents or skill but that she’s a woman A man is allowed to have 4 wives so does that mean a person with 4 nationalities is okay? Where’s your logic man, engineering major.

  18. She was lucky to go out fast, otherwise the torture endured during her struggle would not have been bearable. IK is loosing on all ends, he will have 5 more years due to army but he has been unable to deliver

  19. She was introduced by J Tareen who was caught red-handed in sugar crisis. She created an NGO and did not inform the govt. She was definitely influenced by corrupt practices of Pakistani politicians and decided to follow their underhand methods of becoming rich in day and night. Same is the case with Zafar Abbas. I salute to IK for kicking out crooked people.

  20. It is Astonishing to learn that she could not 1.surrender her dual Nationality.
    2.She was hand in glove with JT
    3.She could not bring Donations, while being in chair for two years.
    4.Who is baking her up as an innocent baby in social media.
    5.Forced to resign means she was doing some fishy activities.
    6.She came from Google, also raises questions on her credibility viz e viz Security???

  21. We don’t have any objection on her capabilities, the problem is, she is a foriegn national, if she was really devoted,she should have revoked her citizenship. Pakistan has a lot of capable people, no foreign national is required. If a parson is not capable he/she should get training even.

  22. Good to know that “Pakistan has a lot of capable people”; only capable of corruption not capable of working dear Shamail Khan.
    Let us all know of any department running by your capable people.

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