Nisar rebuffs bitterness in civil-mily ties

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Locking down capital will amount to crime against state

Zahid Chaudhary

Islamabad—Rejecting outright any bitterness in civil-military relations, Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan on Sunday said those who gave ‘false’ story to Dawn newspaper should be brought before the nation. He said the ‘fabricated’ story has hurt national interest.
There never has been an incident of bitterness in meet-ings held between the country’s top civil-military offi-cials, Nisar said while addressing a news conference here adding there always existed agreement between the civil, military leadership over the matter of non-state ac-tors.
Nisar called it an utter lie that disagreement occurred over the matter of non-state actors as reported by the English newspaper’s journalist.
He said that when an English newspaper published the controversial news the Prime Minister took a decision to have an initial inquiry into the matter and responsibility in this regard was entrusted to him. Nisar said that he has support of interior ministry, legal team under the law minister and others.
Some documented and undocumented records involv-ing Pervaiz Rashid say the reporter had contacted him for comments on the story.
“Pervaiz Rashid called the reporter into his office. Through my entire investigation, I reached the conclusion that Pervaiz Rashid should have told the reporter that this story was wrong, ‘Do not publish this story in view of national interest’,” Nisar said.
Nisar said that Pervaiz Rashid should have spoken to Dawn Editor Zafar Abbas, Dawn’s management or the government. So there is a lapse. He had a duty as infor-mation minister. He should have understood the implica-tions of the story and stopped it.”
Nisar maintained that all information given to Dawn about an argument between Shahbaz Sharif and the ISI chief, or the foreign secretary’s comments that Pakistan stands isolated in the world are all false.
“Pervaiz Rashid will present his stance before the in-quiry committee and it was agreed that he will not make it a media issue,” he said.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took back the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage from Pervaiz Rashid, after the military’s top commanders said a ‘false and fabricated’ newspaper re-port breached national security.
Rejecting the information given in the news story of daily Dawn, Chaudhry Nisar said no meeting on national security had taken place on the third of this month, which was reported in the newspaper.
He said three meetings on the subject were held on the fourth of this month, and he was present in all of them.
The Foreign Secretary was present in one of the meet-ings, and he talked about realignment of Pakistan in the region.
While responding to a question the interior minister said locking down the capital is not crime against government but the state.
“Along with political activity, ensuring normal daily activities is also my responsibility,” he said.
In a message to PTI Chief Imran Khan, Nisar said, “The seeds you are sowing will spoil the roots of Paki-stan. “If the country is closed, it will bring a bad name to the country.”
He said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is setting a wrong tradition by running a campaign against the federal capital. He said the persons arrested on charges of violating Section-144 in Islamabad and recovery of weapons from the protestors will be produced before the court. He said PTI Chief Imran Khan should wait for the Su-preme Court’s verdict instead of resorting to violence.

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