Pakistan’s information minister withdrew her ­resignation on Sunday, hours after she offered to quit amid tensions between the civilian government and the country’s powerful military over a memo alleging an army plot to seize power in May.
Information minister Firdous Ashiq Awan made the surprise announcement at a televised cabinet meeting but Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani later persuaded her to withdraw resignation.
“The prime minister tore down my resignation and asked me to continue my work,” Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan told reporters after the cabinet meeting . Some media reports suggested that Awan offered to resign over criticism within the ruling party over her perceived failure to defend the government in the “memogate” scandal, as it is being called in Pakistan.
Tensions have been running high between the government and the powerful army after the scandal surfaced, raising concerns for the region and for Pakistan’s already uneasy relationship with the United States.
The scandal has reached a fever pitch, and rumours have swirled in recent weeks that President Asif Ali Zardari, who left Pakistan for medical treatment earlier this month may be forced out by military.