ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif has sacrificed his second minister, said to be involved in a conspiracy against the military leadership. Earlier, Mushahidullah Khan had targeted the military leadership in an interview with BBC Urdu, and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had patted his back in appreciation – off the record – and took his resignation – on the record. The PML-N government is in its 4th year of tenure, and its ties with the military leadership are still strained. The democratic government has tried to vex the military leadership on every critical juncture. Reports had surfaced that the media cell of the Prime Minister’s Secretariat and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had got published in an English newspaper the report of key meeting of national security 20 days ago under a well-conceived plan. The publication of this fabricated story aimed at giving an impression that PM Nawaz Sharif was highly anxious to crush terrorism but the military leadership was not allowing him to do so. The Interior Ministry had placed the name of journalist Cyril Almeida – who was behind the publication of the news item – on the Exit Control List (ECL), but later on his name was removed immediately as a “goodwill gesture” by the government. It also came to light that Senator Pervaiz Rasheed contacted another media group for the publication of this news item, but following its refusal, he got it published through a credible media group. The preliminary investigation proved that then information minister Senator Pervaiz Rasheed was in contact with Cyril Almeida. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his associates kept on trying to shelve this news item for 20 days. But the military leadership voiced grave concern over this news item in the first meeting of the corps commanders. Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif during his meeting with the PM apprised him of the military leadership’s concerns on this matter. The interior minister had announced to bring to light the real character behind this issue within three days, but his investigations could not move ahead due to “palace intrigues”. It is being said that the prime minister is still trying to save the real mastermind who had “leaked” this false story, and preparations are underway to sacrifice Principal Information Officer Rao Tehsin Ali Khan and Prime Minister’s Secretary Mohiuddin Wani. The military leadership wants that investigation be conducted against all these characters under the Official Secrets Act. Earlier, notes were provided to Senator Mushahidullah Khan from the PM’s Secretariat for giving an interview against the military leadership. After the interview to BBC Urdu, the prime minister dined with Senator Mushahidullah and assured him that he would become more revered and credible than before. However, the senator ended up saying in an interview a few days ago that the civil and military leadership were not on the same page before, and were not on the same page now. Musaddaq Malik, a spokesman for the premier, said that investigations had not ended yet. The committee constituted for this purpose would soon complete its enquiry, he said. It may be mentioned here that Cyril Almeida was being brought back to the country so that he could also be grilled.