Pakistani minister resigns after interview
Pakistani Environment Minister Mushahid Ullah Khan has stepped down following an interview, in which he claimed former intelligence chief Zaheer-ul-Islam had connections with anti-government protests last year.
Khan submitted his resignation on Saturday following an interview with the state-funded BBC, in which he claimed the former head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) had encouraged anti-government protests last year, said Information Minister Pervez Rashid.
According to Pakistani sources, Khan was alledgedly pressured into handing in his resignation.
During the two months of protests held in the capital Islamabad in 2014, organized by opposition leader Imran Khan and cleric Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, three people were killed and over 500 wounded.
According to Khan, a recording existed in which Zaheer-ul-Islam was provoking demonstrators to invoke chaos and attack Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s home.
Khan said that the recording had been played by the prime minster during a meeting with army chief General Raheel Sharif.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (L) walks past army chief Raheel Sharif during the country’s Independence Day ceremony in Islamabad, Pakistan on August 14, 2015 (AFP)
“No such thing ever happened,” said Rashid adding, “No tape was listened to or played.”
The military has also denied the existence of any such recording.
“The story about any tape recording as being discussed in media is totally baseless, unfounded & farthest from truth,” military spokesman Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa, tweeted on Friday.
Former ISI chief dies
Meanwhile, former ISI chief Lieutenant General Hamid Gul died after suffering a brain hemorrhage, in the town of Murree, north-east of the capital.