ISLAMABAD: The inquiry committee formed to probe Dawn Leaks in its report has placed blame on Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi and Principal Information Officer at the Press Information Department Rao Tehseen, sources said on Tuesday.
The report, which has been presented to the government, recommends the removal of Tehseen. The sources said that the portfolio of Fatemi on foreign affairs would be changed but he would retain his position.
They said that All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) would decide what action would be taken against the concerned newspaper. Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with Tariq Fatemi, with sources informing Geo News that Dawn Leaks was the main agenda. The English-language daily, Dawn, had published a story on October 6 in which journalist Cyril Almeida had written about an alleged civil-military rift during the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting over the issue of tackling jihadi outfits.
The story stirred a major controversy last year, resulting in Almeida coming under fire from the military and government and being temporarily placed on the Exit Control List. The inquiry committee comprised one member each from the ISI, MI and IB, Secretary Establishment Tahir Shahbaz, Ombudsman Punjab Najam Saeed, and an FIA director.
Meanwhile, informed sources that mobile forensics data of Senator Pervaiz Rashid was also made part of the report by the inquiry committee, which could not find any evidence against the former information minister.
On October 29, following a preliminary investigation, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took back the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage from Pervaiz Rashid, weeks after the military’s top commanders said the ‘false and fabricated’ report published in the Dawn newspaper breached national security. But the investigation carried out by the inquiry committee now appears to show that no evidence could be found against the former minister. According to sources privy with the mobile forensics data in report, Dawn newspaper reporter Cyril Almeida sent at least 11 text messages to Rashid. Sources say the reporter, in the messages, requested the government not to ‘insult’ by repeatedly issuing rebuttals of his story, but the minister did not reply to most of the messages.