ISLAMABAD: Federal Information Minister Pervez Rashid in a statement released on Saturday said that senior cabinet member and minister for climate change, Senator Mushahidullah Khan has sent his resignation to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
An official from the PM Office confirmed to DAWN that the government has received his resignation, but it will be processed on Monday due to public holidays.
The senator had earlier given an interview to the BBC in which he had alleged that the former director general of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) wanted to overthrow the country's civil and military leadership.
Mushahidullah Khan has been summoned back from his trip to the Maldives on an immediate basis, in the wake of his recent statements he made in an interview with BBC, sources at the PM Secretariat told Dawn. The minister is currently on a three day official visit to the Maldives.
The sources added that the prime minister would decide on the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz senator's resignation after his arrival.
According to the statement, Mushahidullah will also present his resignation to the premier in person once he returns to Pakistan.
Earlier today, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Asad Umar pressed on the premier to take a clear stance and appropriate action in wake of the allegations levelled by Mushahidullah Khan against former ISI chief Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam Abbasi.
Earlier on Friday, the prime minister had sought an explanation from the senator, over an interview the latter gave to BBC Urdu, in which he alleged that former ISI chief Lt. Gen Zaheerul Islam Abbasi wanted to overthrow Pakistan’s civil and military leadership during last year’s sit-ins by the PTI and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT).
Taking notice of the minister’s statements, the PM House had also issued a news release, asking Mushahidullah Khan to explain his remarks. The release also said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has never heard such an audio tape, nor is he aware of its existence.
Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Asim Bajwa had also said late on Friday night in a tweet that “the story about any tape recording as being discussed in media is totally baseless, unfounded and farthest from the truth.”
The chief of army's media wing went on to say that “such rumours are irresponsible and unprofessional.”
Meanwhile, Mushahidullah had downplayed his claims, saying that he had never heard the audio recording himself and was told about it by “other sources.” He said he had clarified in his interview that he had himself not heard any audio tape.
The senator said his interview with the BBC was almost a week old and questioned the motives behind releasing it on Independence Day. He said he had given the same explanation to the premier over a telephone call.