ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Interior has removed from the Exit Control List (ECL) the name of Cyril Almeida, the Dawn journalist whose story on a high-profile security meeting has forced the government to initiate an inquiry to identify the person responsible for its leak.

The decision was taken by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan during a meeting with senior office-bearers of the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) here on Friday.

The minister reiterated the government’s full support for the freedom of press and independence of media and ordered the removal of Mr Almeida’s name from the ECL as a goodwill gesture.

“Removal of the name of the journalist would in no way affect the ongoing inquiry into the matter and the inquiry would continue to its logical conclusion,” the minister said.

He insisted that the news report was “inaccurate and fabricated”.


Corps Commanders express concern over ‘feeding’ of fabricated story of an important security meeting held at PM House


Minister for Information Pervaiz Rashid and Principal Information Officer Rao Tehsin Ali Khan were present at the meeting. The media delegation consisted of APNS president Sarmad Ali, CPNE president Zia Shahid, APNS secretary general Umar Shami, CPNE secretary general Aijazul Haq and senior journalists Arif Nizami and Mujeebur Rahman Shami.

Chaudhry Nisar told the delegation that independent media must play its role not only in safeguarding the national interest and security but also countering the negative propaganda of the enemies of the state. Unverified and speculative news items on national security issues citing unnamed sources which crossed ethical boundaries of responsible journalism must be avoided, he added.

The issue was discussed not only at the meeting between the interior minister and the APNS-CPNE delegation but was also deliberated upon at a Corps Commanders conference.

According to a statement released by the Inter-Services Public Relations, the participants of the Corps Commanders conference on Friday expressed serious concern over feeding of false and fabricated story of an important security meeting held at the Prime Minister House and viewed it as breach of national security.

Moreover, Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria told a press briefing that the story by the Dawn journalist was based on assumptions. “Pakistan is not being isolated internationally. It is just propaganda,” he said.

Published in Dawn, October 15th, 2016

Opinion

Trending political talk
18 May 2021

Trending political talk

Come December and the Lahore jalsa and the shirt lengths went up a bit. The fad was changing.
Policy rate primer
17 May 2021

Policy rate primer

Economic activity generated by a lower policy rate may be illusory.

Editorial

Hard balancing act
Updated 18 May 2021

Hard balancing act

Pakistan has enjoyed close relations with Washington and Beijing; now is the wrong time to start prioritising one over the other.
18 May 2021

Covid awareness

THE effects of large gatherings over Eid as well as multiple home visits will be apparent in the days to come and...
18 May 2021

Karachi’s drains

THE initial realisation that Cyclone Tauktae was headed for the Sindh coast prompted the powers that be in the...
Palestine bloodbath
Updated 17 May 2021

Palestine bloodbath

One wonders whether the right of self-defence allows a country to butcher toddlers and the disabled, as Tel Aviv has done in Gaza.
17 May 2021

Registering madressahs

DURING the past two decades, several attempts by successive governments to standardise and regularise madressahs ...
17 May 2021

LSM growth

THE robust growth in large-scale industrial output since July last year has generated a kind of economic optimism...