ISLAMABAD: In an unusual move, Pakistan's powerful army today "rejected" Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's decision to sack his trusted aide Tariq Fatemi for "leaking" information to the media, saying his action is "incomplete".
Sharif approved an inquiry committee's recommendation to remove Fatemi, the special assistant on foreign affairs, from his post after he was found guilty of "leaking" information to the media about a rift between Pakistan's civilian and military leaderships during a high-level security meet.
Hours after the Prime Minister's Office issued the directive, the Inter-Services Public Relations said the Army had rejected the notification, calling it 'incomplete'.
"Notification on Dawn Leak is incomplete and not in line with recommendations by the Inquiry Board. Notification is rejected," military spokesman Major Gen Asif Ghafoor tweeted.
In October, a columnist for Dawn newspaper wrote a front-page story about a rift between civilian and military leaderships over militant groups that operate from Pakistan but engage in proxy war against India and Afghanistan.
The army took strong exception to the Dawn story and relations between army and the civil government deteriorated.
The PML-N government was forced to remove then information minister Pervaiz Rasheed but a probe was also initiated at the demand of army to fix the responsibility. The report was submitted to the prime minister this week.
According to the inquiry report, Fatemi was primarily responsible for leaking the report of the key meeting, and Sharif took action against him.
Analysts have termed the cropping of differences as detrimental to the civil-military relationship.
"The government should move fast to address the grievances of the army and fully implement the findings of the report," former Air Marshal Shehzad Chaudhry told Geo TV.