Pakistani newspaper ‘Dawn’ has said that it stands by its report on military-Nawaz Sharif govt rift over tackling terrorists in the country despite three contradictions issued by the office of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
The latest contradiction was issued on Monday by Nawaz Sharif’s office after a meeting of the top civilian and military leadership.
The government statement issued after the meeting said that the participants expressed concern over the publication of a “fabricated news story” in Daily Dawn pertaining to security issues purportedly discussed in a meeting of National Security Committee last week.
“The participants were unanimous that the published story was clearly violative of universally acknowledged principles of reporting on National Security issues and has risked the vital state interests through inclusion of inaccurate and misleading contents which had no relevance to actual discussion and facts,” the statement said.
“Prime Minister took serious notice of the violation and directed that those responsible should be identified for stern action,” it added.
However, The newspaper clarified that the story, rejected by Prime Minister’s Office as a fabrication, was verified, cross-checked and fact-checked.
“Many at the helm of affairs are aware of the senior officials, and participants of the meeting, who were contacted by the newspaper for collecting information, and more than one source confirmed and verified the details,” the newspaper said.
The newspaper also warned the Pakistani government and state institutions against targeting the messenger.
“The elected government and state institutions should refrain from targeting the messenger, and scape-goating the country’s most respected newspaper in a malicious campaign,” a statement on behalf of the editor said.
Earlier, cyril almeida, the journalist who had filed this story was put on put on the country's Exit Control List (ECL) prohibiting him from leaving Pakistan.
On October 6, The Dawn had reported that after an acrimonious verbal confrontation between Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) General Rizwan Akhtar and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif during an all party meeting on October 3, the Pakistan government headed by Nawaz Sharif warned Pakistan Army to either act against militants operating from Pakistani soil or be ready to face international isolation.