Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Power and Petroleum Tabish Gauhar announced on Tuesday that he had resigned from the post, almost a year after his appointment.
“After a year of public service, I’ve decided to call it a day to return to my family. It’s been the privilege of a lifetime to serve the country, to the best of my abilities, in an honorary capacity. I shall remain indebted to the PM for giving me this opportunity,” he tweeted after tendering resignation as the SAPM.
Tabish said that while challenges in the energy sector were manifold, he had “no doubt that under the able leadership of Hammad Azhar, the MOE (Ministry of Energy) team will continue to stay the course on structural reforms”.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet Division issued a notification, saying that Prime Minister Imran Khan had accepted his resignation with effect from September 20.
Tabish, a former managing director of K-Electric (KE) and a senior executive of troubled Abraaj Capital of Arif Naqvi, had replaced Shahzad Qasim as the SAPM on power in October last year.
It is learnt that Tabish had complained about his limited scope of work at a cabinet meeting during the course of discussions on reforms.
An official had said that he was fed up with interference in his workings and too many cooks in the pot and had complained that he did not know whom to report — Minister for Planning Asad Umar, then energy minister Omar Ayub, erstwhile SAPM on petroleum Nadeem Babar or the prime minister.
Tabish’s interviews among leading channels and newspapers — suggesting inclusion of KE-Shanghai deal through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and revival of Pakistan Electric Power Company had also perturbed some “key players” in the field, another official had said.
To top it all, he was reported to have come under pressure following an investigation report on oil crisis which blamed Byco Petroleum of widespread wrongdoings and called for further investigations. Gauhar had worked at Byco as the chairperson of its audit and human resource committees.
In March this year, he was given the additional charge of the premier’s aide on petroleum, replacing Babar.
Last month, he had written a letter to Hammad Azhar, pointing out multiple challenges in the energy sector and urging that strategies be chalked out and “holistic and structural reforms” be made to address them.
Tabish is also the founder and chairperson of Oasis Energy, a management consultancy firm in the power and energy sector. He has a first-class honours degree from King’s College, London, and also an MBA degree from the Institute of Business Administration in Pakistan.
He had stepped down as director, chief executive officer, and chairperson of the KE board in 2015 after working at the organisation for more than seven years.