Dawn Leaks: Nisar briefs PM about inquiry body’s report

The Dawn Leaks inquiry committee report has held three top government functionaries, including former Information Minister Pervez Rashid, responsible for leaking sensitive information to the newspaper.

Sources said that Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan after receiving the Dawn Leaks report held a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and briefed him about the outcome of the report.

The sources privy to the contents of the report, which has been submitted to the Ministry of Interior, said the inquiry committee headed by former Justice Aamer Raza A Khan held former Information Minister Senator Pervez Rashid, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi and Principal Information Officer (PIO) Rao Tehsin as responsible for leaking the sensitive information.

They said the report has endorsed the action taken against Pervez Rashid after Dawn Leaks and termed it sufficient. The Prime Minister on the basis of preliminary investigation had taken back the portfolio of Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage from Pervez Rashid on October 29, 2016.

Sources while quoting the report said that Rao Tehsin had played irresponsible role and action against him has been recommended. According to report of inquiry committee, Fatimi had played a dubious role and action should also be taken against him, they further said.

The government on November 7, 2016 had constituted a six-member committee headed by former Justice Aamer Raza A Khan for holding a probe into a controversial story carried by Dawn on October 6 last year about a purported civil-military rift over handling of non-state actors. The four-member committee was consisted of representatives of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Military Intelligence (MI).

Secretary Establishment Tahir Shahbaz and Provincial Ombudsman Punjab Najam Saeed were also part of the committee along with Director FIA Usman Anwar. The Interior Ministry had placed the name of Cyril Almeida, a journalist, on the Exit Control List (ECL) over the news story he wrote about an alleged rift between the government and the military.

The ministry on October 14 last lifted the travel ban on Almeida as a ‘goodwill gesture’ but said that an inquiry into the ‘inaccurate and fabricated’ article would continue.

Media reports said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has given approval for removal of Tariq Fatemi, his special assistant on foreign affairs, however, the reports added that Fatemi has refused to tender his resignation.

Till filing of this report, the Prime Minister house issued no statement of a meeting between Prime Minister and Minister for Interior, nor did it officially release anything with respect to removal of the prime minister’s special assistant on foreign affairs.-Business Recorder