Dawn leaks commission submits final report

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Interior (MoI) on Tuesday said it has received the report, compiled by a committee that probed into the publication in the daily Dawn of a controversial story about a national security meeting and that the report will be submitted to the prime minister on Wednesday [today].

“The Dawn Leaks report was formally submitted to the interior minister [Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan] on Tuesday at 6:45 pm,” said the MoI spokesperson through a statement issued to media on late Tuesday.

While rejecting to comment on the report prior to its ‘thorough review’, the spokesperson said it was unfortunate that some elements insisted to put present the news according to their own perspective.

“After reviewing content of the report in detail, it will be presented to PM tomorrow. After getting approval of PM the committee’ recommendations would be made public,” he said.

In the controversial story attributed to unnamed sources, Cyril Almeida had reported that in a high-level meeting on national security held on October 3 last year, the civilian leaders had spoken about the ‘growing diplomatic isolation’ of Pakistan for lack of action against some militant groups.

Reportedly the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) director general was present in the meeting attended by a number of functionaries including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shehbaz Sharif.

The new report had whipped up a storm and while the federal government had repeatedly denied it as ‘fabricated and planted’, the top army brass had called it a breach of trust on national security.

Last year on November 7, the MoI notified a seven-member committee – headed by a retired judge Aamer Raza Khan – to probe the controversy. The panel was supposed to submit its report within next 30 days. However, later on it was given one-month extension by the ministry to complete its task.

One member each from the ISI, Military Intelligence and Intelligence Bureau were included in the panel. Establishment Secretary Tahir Shahbaz, Punjab’s Ombudsman Najam Saeed and the Federal Investigation Agency Director Usman Anwar were also part of the committee.

The committee was assigned the job to establish the identity of those who allegedly planted the story. Former information minister Pervaiz Rashid has already lost his portfolio on grounds that he failed to play his role effectively to restrain the journalist from running the controversial story.

The Express Tribune

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