ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's information minister withdrew her resignation on Sunday, hours after she offered to quit amid tensions between the civilian government and the country's powerful military over a memo alleging an army plot to seize power in May.
Information Minister Firdos Ashiq Awan made the surprise announcement at a televised cabinet meeting but Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani later persuaded her to withdraw resignation.
“The prime minister tore down my resignation and asked me to continue my work,” Information Minister Firdos Ashiq Awan told reporters after the cabinet meeting .
Some media reports suggested that Awan offered to resign over criticism within the ruling party over her perceived failure to defend the government in the “memogate” scandal, as it is being called in Pakistan.
“I endorse your leadership (but) I think I am not competent enough to continue as cabinet member and hence submit my resignation,” Awan had tearfully said at a televised cabinet meeting.
The party should move forward under the leadership of the president and prime minister, she had added.
It was not immediately clear if she was forced to resign or if she quit voluntarily — a move which could signal growing differences within President Asif Ali Zardari's troubled party.
Some analysts said Awan may have been forced to resign due to her failure to convincingly defend the government in the “memogate” scandal.