Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has removed Tariq Fatemi as his special assistant on foreign affairs a day after the appointment.
However, according to a Cabinet Division notification, Fatemi will continue to serve as a special assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) and has been granted the additional status of a minister of state.
The statement read, “In partial modification of this Division’s earlier notification of even number dated April 20, 2022, the prime minister, in terms of rule 4(6) of the Rules of Business, 1973, read with serial number 1A of Schedule V-A of the said Rules, has been please to appoint Syed Tariq Fatemi as ‘Special Assistant to the Prime Minister’ and grant him the status of minister of state.”
Senior PMLN Leader and Former Diplomat, Tariq Fatemi DE-NOTIFIED as SAPM on Foreign Affairs as per Media Reports, just about 24 hours after he was notified. #Pakistan
— Anas Mallick (@AnasMallick) April 21, 2022
Meanwhile, media quoted sources saying that Fatemi was removed over reservations from the Pakistan Peoples’ Party, which suggested the government avoid making controversial appointments.
Secretary-General PPP Nayyar Bukhari said that appointment of Tariq Fatemi could hurt the coalition government. “The allies should have been taken into confidence over the appointment of Fatemi,” he said.
The PPP leader further said that the PML-N assured to give the foreign affairs ministry to PPP. After Bilawal Bhutto and Hina Rabbani Khar, the appointment of Tariq Fatemi has no justification.
Fatemi had served as the SAPM on foreign affairs during the previous PML-N government under Nawaz Sharif from 2013 to 2017. But he was removed in 2017 over the ‘Dawn leaks’ scandal. Dawn Leaks was a story published in Dawn that reported the details of a high-level civil-military meeting discussing the issue of banned outfits operating in Pakistan.
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The Prime Minister’s Office had initially rejected the story. Still, the military had mounted pressure to demand a probe into the matter to determine those involved in disclosing the details of the meeting, which it said was related to the country’s national security.
However, Fatemi had rejected the allegations leveled against him in a farewell letter and stated that the suggestions were hurtful to someone who had served Pakistan for nearly five decades.