By Raza Ruman
(Pak Destiny) Dawn stands by its government-military rift story – “Act against militants or face international isolation.”
“Dawn would like to clarify and state on the record several things. First, this newspaper considers it a sacred oath to its readers to pursue its reporting fairly, independently and, above all, accurately. The story that has been rejected by Prime Minister’s Office as a fabrication was verified, cross-checked and fact-checked,” Dawn Editor Zafar Abbas says.
“Second, 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. Therefore, 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.”
Prime Minister has issued yet another statement, strongly denying the contents and rejecting it as a fabrication. Interestingly, this is the third contradiction issued by the PM office, the first one and then its revised and stronger version being released on October 6.
Following a meeting of the top civilian and military leadership on Monday, the latest PM office statement said, 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 statement said, “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 participants felt that it was imperative that Print and Electronic media refrained itself from speculative reporting and issues of national security and interests of the state.
According to the statement, “Prime Minister took serious notice of the violation and directed that those responsible should be identified for stern action”.
Dawn’s member of staff Cyril Almeida, who wrote the news report “Act against militants or face international isolation, civilians tell military”, has been put on the country’s Exit Control List (ECL). Pak Destiny