Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has withdrawn the foreign affairs portfolio from Tariq Fatemi on Wednesday, a day after he appointed him as his special assistant on foreign affairs.
According to a notification by Cabinet Division, Fatemi will continue to serve as a special assistant to the prime minister (SAPM) without a portfolio and will have the additional status of a minister of state.
“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,” the notification read.
Fatemi had served as the SAPM on foreign affairs during the previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government under Nawaz Sharif but was removed in 2017 for his alleged role in ‘Dawn leaks’. The story published in the local news outlet Dawn reported details of a high-level civil-military huddle that discussed the matter of banned outfits operating in Pakistan.
The report alleged that the then civilian government had warned the military leadership of increasing international isolation if action against militant outfits in the country was not taken. The Prime Minister’s Office had initially rejected the story. However, the military increased pressure to probe the matter to find out who disclosed the details of the meeting.