Portfolio of Tariq Fatemi
changed, will now serve
as PM Special Assistant
without portfolio

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ISLAMABAD: In order to avoid any duplications, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has appointed Syed Tariq Fatemi as his special assistant. According to a Cabinet Division notification, Fatemi will continue to serve as a special assistant to the prime minister (SAPM) without a portfolio and has been granted the additional status of a minister of state. Earlier, it was announced that he was appointed as special assistant to PM Shehbaz on foreign affairs.

Tariq Fatemi

The portfolio of Foreign Minister was reserved for Chairman, PPP, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and he is expected to take oath on his return from London. It was objected from PPP that appointment of Tariq Fatemi will be interference in working of Bilawal Bhutto so Tariq Fatemi should be given any other portfolio.

“The prime minister, in terms of rule 4 (6) of the Rules of Business, 1973 read with serial no. 1A of Schedule V-A of the said rules, has been pleased to appoint Syed Tariq Fatemi, as special assistant to the prime minister on foreign affairs, with immediate effect,” the notification issued by the Cabinet Division stated.

Fatemi had served in the same position during the previous PML-N government under Nawaz but was removed in 2017 for his alleged role in ‘Dawn leaks’ — 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.

For his part, Fatemi had rejected the allegations levelled against him in a farewell letter and stated that the suggestions were hurtful to someone who had served Pakistan for nearly five decades.

Fatemi is a retired diplomat and has long association with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN). “The prime minister, in terms of rule 4(6) of the Rules of Business, 1973 read with serial No1A of Schedule V-A of the said rules, has been pleased to appoint Syed Tariq Fatemi as special assistant to the prime minister on foreign affairs, with immediate effect,” reads a notification of his appointment.

A file pictures shows Tariq Fatemi with the then US President Barack Obama

The development came a day after the cabinet was sworn in. PPP’s Hina Rabbani Khar took oath as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs while PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is expected to become the foreign minister.

According to a Cabinet Division notification, Fatemi will continue to serve as a special assistant to the prime minister (SAPM) without a portfolio and has been granted 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 dated April 20 read.

Fatemi had served as the SAPM on foreign affairs during the previous PML-N government under Nawaz but was removed in 2017 for his alleged role in ‘Dawn leaks’ — 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.

The Prime Minister’s Office had initially rejected the story, but 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.