ISLAMABAD – Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi has refused to resign hours before the Dawn Leaks inquiry is going to be made public, maintaining that he has nothing to do with the matter.
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Earlier in the day, according to media reports, Fatemi called on with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif amid speculations that an inquiry commission probing into the Dawn Leaks holds him responsible.
The investigation report of Dawn Leaks scandal that maligned Pakistan Army was reportedly presented to Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and likely to be made public within 24 hours.
The inquiry commission report, prepared by Justice (r) Aamir Raza, holds Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi, former Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid and Principal Information Officer Rao Tehseen responsible for stirring the controversy, the Geo News reported.
There is no official confirmation yet from the government or the PM’s office on the latest developments.
Also on Tuesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held a separate meeting with Ch Nisar.
Pakistan’s English-language daily, Dawn, had published a story on October 6 in which journalist Cyril Almeida had written about an alleged civil-military rift during the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting over the issue of tackling militant outfits.
The story stirred a major controversy last year, resulting in Almeida coming under fire from the military and government and being temporarily placed on the Exit Control List.
The Dawn story quoting official sources said that civilian government and military were not on same page regarding actions against some specific militant groups and there was heated exchange of words between Punjab CM Shehbaz and ISI chief during a national security meeting.
Pakistan army had dismissed the story as “unfounded and planted” and called for a probe into the leak.
Prime Minister Office and Punjab Chief Minister also rejected the report headlined “Act against militants or face international isolation, civilians tell military” published in the newspaper.
In the same month, Pervaiz Rashid had to step down from the ministry on PM’s request.
The Dawn Leaks inquiry committee comprised one member each from the ISI, MI and IB, Secretary Establishment Tahir Shahbaz, Ombudsman Punjab Najam Saeed, and an FIA director.
The final report is likely to be presented in next 24 to 48 hours.