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PM Sharif, Pakistan Army chief meet to find ‘amicable settlement’ in Dawn Leaks issue

The army on April 29 had rejected the action taken by the government over the Dawn Leaks issue as “incomplete”, leading to speculation about a standoff between the government and the military.

world Updated: May 07, 2017 01:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa,Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif,Tariq Fatemi
File photo of Nawaz Sharif meeting Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa in November.(AFP)

Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to discuss an “amicable settlement” to the Dawn Leaks issue, days after the powerful military rejected the action taken by the civilian government in the matter.

On April 29, the Prime Minister’s Office removed Tariq Fatemi, special assistant to Sharif, from his post and announced disciplinary action against another official over a report in the Dawn newspaper about differences between the civilian administration and the military on tackling terror groups.

Hours later, the army rejected the action taken by the government, saying it was “incomplete”. This led to speculation about a fresh standoff between the government and the military over Dawn Leaks, as the issue has come to be known.

According to reports in the Pakistani media, Bajwa met the premier on Thursday night to discuss Dawn Leaks and find an “amicable settlement”. The meeting was held “in a pleasant atmosphere”, Dawn reported quoting TV news channels.

Both sides agreed to resolve the matter in an amicable manner and Bajwa discussed at length the army’s “reservations” about the action taken by the government. Sharif reportedly promised the army’s reservations would be taken into consideration.

There was no official word on the meeting.

Sharif’s office had taken action on the Dawn Leaks issue in line with the recommendations of a committee that was set up to probe the report in the Dawn newspaper last year.

Pakistan’s political establishment was stunned when the action taken by the Prime Minister’s Office was rejected by the military spokesman, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, through a tweet.

On Friday, interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan met Sharif to discuss another detailed notification the government is expected to issue regarding action in the Dawn Leaks issue to defuse tension with the military. Sharif also reportedly advised Khan not to issue any strong statements against the military.

Reports said Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif, the younger brother of the premier, helped defuse the civil-military tensions as he was part of a committee formed by his elder brother to resolve the row over the Dawn Leaks issue.

First Published: May 06, 2017 19:13 IST