ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Pakistani government has dismissed Punjab Governor Omer Sarfraz Cheema, hours after President Arif Alvi rejected a proposal to remove him from office.
Cheema has been removed from the cabinet division, according to a notification issued by the cabinet division in light of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's advise, reported Samaa TV. Until a new governor is sworn in, Punjab Assembly Speaker Pervaiz Elahi will serve as interim governor. Cheema said after his firing that he is consulting with his lawyers and will disclose his next steps soon.
As per reports, the Punjab government also dismissed Cheema's security detail after the notification was issued. Barricades have been placed at all entry points and a large presence of police has been stationed around the Governor House. Cheema is not allowed to enter the building, according to the police.
President Alvi had earlier Monday rejected Sharif's recommendation for Cheema's resignation. While rejecting the advice, the President reasoned that the Punjab Governor has not been accused of mismanagement and has never been convicted by a court.
President Alvi stated that he has done nothing violating the constitution, and that a Governor cannot be removed without the President's agreement. A Governor can serve until the President agrees to replace him, according to clause 3 of Pakistan's Constitution.