Army rejects notification on Dawn Leak inquiry

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Nisar says formal notification will be issued by interior ministry; Special Assistant to PM Tariq Fatemi, PIO Rao Tehsin removed; Action ordered against Cyril Almeida, Zaffar Abbas; PPP and PTI lash at govt

Sophia Siddiqui Salahuddin Haider

Islamabad/Karachi

The Pakistan Army on Saturday rejected what it termed the federal government’s notification on the Dawn Leaks inquiry, saying it was “incomplete and not in line with recommendations by the Inquiry Board”.
The Army announced the rejection in a tweet sent out by DG ISPR Major-General Asif Ghafoor through his official account.
“ Notification on Dawn Leak is incomplete and not in line with recommendations by the Inquiry Board. Notification is rejected,” Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said in his tweet.
The tweet came shortly after the prime minister’s office announced that PM Nawaz Sharif had approved the recommendations of the Dawn Leak inquiry committee. The executive order from the PM Office announced that the portfolio of Foreign Affairs from Prime Minister Sharif’s Special Assistant Tariq Fatemi would be withdrawn.
That Rao Tehseen Ali, Principal Information Officer at the Information Ministry, will be proceeded against under the E&D rules 1973 on the charges in the report findings. The PM’s order added that the role of the editor of Dawn Newspaper, Zafar Abbas, and reporter Cyril Almeida would be referred to the All Pakistan Newspaper Association for necessary disciplinary action to be taken against them.
The order also said that the APNS will be asked to develop a code of conduct for the media, “especially when dealing with issues relating to security of Pakistan and to ensure that stories on issues of national importance and security are published in keeping with journalistic and editorial norms”.
The English-language daily, Dawn, had published the story on October 6 last year in which journalist Cyril Almeida had written about an alleged civil-military rift during a National Security Committee meeting over the issue of tackling jihadi outfits.
The story stirred a major controversy.
Addressing a news conference in Karachi the Interior Minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said, a fresh notification will be issued by his office, and assured the countrymen that the report will be implemented in totality, and nobody involved in the matter will be spared, for the concept of sacred cow has to end now.
He recalled that some two years ago, he had advised a representative gathering of APNS, CPNE, PBA (Pakistan Broadcasters Association), and journalists’ organisation like PFUJ, etc. to stop publicizing terrorists’ views, and those in detention because this was wholly unfair.
On MQM leader, Altaf Hussain, he was candid that anyone averse to Pakistani Constitution, country’s solidarity, or challenging its existence” or integrity automatically became illegible to do politicking in Pakistan. This is a very clear policy and there could not be any compromise on that.
He disclosed that the Dawn leaks report had been received from the enquiry committee by his ministry three or four days ago. It was forwarded to the Prime Minister, who perhaps was busy, and he himself came to Karachi. He had posted a senior officer of the additional secretary’s level to keep vigil on the subject. But he was amazed by the storm in the tear cup blown up by the electronic media. He said the set aside advice to put off a scheduled press conference, for he was ready to answer any question on the issue.
Nisar said that he was saying with absolute authority that those opposed to Pakistan or disliking its Constitution, will not be allowed to do politicking for it would threaten the integrity and solidarity of the country, implying that Altaf Hussain’s chapter had finally come to an end.
He further said the final notification would be issued by his ministry and would be in line with what he called the “black and white” recommendations made by the inquiry committee.
Nisar’s statement implied that the PM Office’s directives addressed to the interior ministry, on the basis of which his ministry was to issue a formal notification, were leaked before the interior ministry saw them.
“Institutions should not address each other through tweets,” he said, in an apparent reference to a tweet sent out by the military’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations, a few hours earlier.
Nisar then said that a notification [regarding the inquiry into the Dawn story] is supposed to be “issued by the interior ministry [and not the PM’s Office], and we haven’t issued it yet.”
“It is regrettable that a non-issue has been turned into a such a huge deal.”
“Nobody will be shielded and nobody is attempting to shield anyone. Whatever the committee’s ‘black and white’ recommendations are, the interior ministry […] will use them as a basis for its notification,” Nisar reiterated.
While in Karachi, the interior minister exchanged ideas on Karachi operation with authorities. He said the operation will continue unhindered. No leniency will be tolerated, for none can be allowed to play with the destiny of the country.
Meanwhile, Pakistan People’s Party on Saturday announced to support the position of Pakistan Army on Dawn Leaks probe notification. After the government removed Tariq Fatemi from his post of Special Assistant to PM on Foreign Affairs, army rejected the notification terming it incomplete.
Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah said that the matter of sensitive report was brutally diminished by removing Tariq Fatemi from his post. He said that army’s decision given in Inter-Services Public Relations notification was right. He stated, “Prime Minister had become a threat to national intergrity.”
“There’s no importance of national security according to PML-N. National institutes are being made controversial for self-interests,” PPP leader Maula Baksh Chandio said while claiming that Nawaz Sharif’s politics revolved around personal interests.
PPP leaders demanded immediate issuance of Dawn Leaks report as well as resignation from Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar.
Meanwhile, PTI chief in a tweet said “Dawn Leaks was a deliberate attempt to malign Pak army and Government must immediately make public the complete Inquiry Report.” On other side Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf spokesperson Naeem Ul Haq while rejecting Dawn leaks report demanded that complete report of Dawn leaks be made public so that elements behind security lapse could be determined. He said this while talking to a private media channel just after the airing of Dawn Leaks report on Media Channels. Government wants to hide this dawn leaks report like model town incident but PTI has demanded of government to make this report public so that real culprits could be identified , he added.
He further said the final notification would be issued by his ministry and would be in line with what he called the “black and white” recommendations made by the inquiry committee.
Nisar’s statement implied that the PM Office’s directives addressed to the interior ministry, on the basis of which his ministry was to issue a formal notification, were leaked before the interior ministry saw them.
“Institutions should not address each other through tweets,” he said, in an apparent reference to a tweet sent out by the military’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations, a few hours earlier.
Nisar then said that a notification [regarding the inquiry into the Dawn story] is supposed to be “issued by the interior ministry [and not the PM’s Office], and we haven’t issued it yet.”“It is regrettable that a non-issue has been turned into a such a huge deal.” “Nobody will be shielded and nobody is attempting to shield anyone. Whatever the committee’s ‘black and white’ recommendations are, the interior ministry […] will use them as a basis for its notification,” Nisar reiterated.

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