Pak army rejects PM Sharif firing aide over leak to Dawn newspaper, says directive is ‘incomplete’

The sacking is a setback for the Sharif government at a time the Prime Minister is facing heat over the Panama Papers case. The leaked information was published in Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper and spoke of a rift between the civilian and military leadership.

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Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approved the removal of Syed Tariq Fatemi, his special assistant on foreign affairs. Fatemi is considered a trusted aide of Sharif.

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan army’s public rejection of action taken by the Nawaz Sharif government against a member of its inner circle over the Dawn Leaks affair has resulted in a standoff between the two institutions, with many fearing that things may worsen in the coming days.

On Saturday, it was announced that Sharif’s Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi had been sacked due to his alleged role in the leaking of information about a high-level meeting of the civil and military leadership to local newspaper Dawn.

The controversy, known as Dawn Leaks, was triggered after the newspaper’s columnist Cyril Almeida, quoting unnamed sources, wrote that in a high-level meeting on national security held on October 3, 2016, civilian leaders had spoken about Pakistan’s “growing diplomatic isolation” due to its lack of action against some militant groups. The report claimed that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency’s director general was present in the meeting, which was attended by a number of functionaries including Sharif as well as his brother Shahbaz Sharif. -ht

THE PASHTUN TIMES

 

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