ISLAMABAD: The government must register First Information Report (FIR) in the case of publication of fabricated story in Daily Dawn; this was stated by Editor in Chief Pakistan Group of Newspapers and Chairman Roze News Sardar Khan Niazi while speaking in Roze News program Sachi Baat he was commenting on the latest development on Tuesday that saw the former Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry write a letter to Prime Minister asking him to register a FIR in the Newsgate scandal.
Sardar Khan Niazi said that a thorough investigation into Newsgate scandal must be conducted but so far the government has delayed it. He said that the fabricated story not only harmed Pakistan’s image on international stage but also harmed the morale of the Armed Forces who are sacrificing their lives to protect their country in the war against terror. Sardar Khan Niazi said that opposition parties particularly Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf have not realized the seriousness of this issue that is a lot more important that the Panama leaks case. Sardar Khan Niazi said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chief Imran Khan should have focused his attention on the Newsgate scandal instead of Panama leaks. He said that Panama leaks is a corruption issue whereas the Newsgate scandal issue is a direct attack on the national security of the country.
Pakistan Justice Democratic Party President and former Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Tuesday wrote a letter to Prime Minister asking him to register a FIR and launch investigation into the Newsgate scandal under the Official Secrets Act of 1923. It is pertinent to mention here that the former Chief Justice had first revealed during an exclusive interview with Sardar Khan Niazi in Roze News program Sachi Baat a couple of weeks ago that he plans on writing a letter to the Prime Minister if the government continues to use delay tactics regarding investigation of Newsgate scandal.
Senior lawyer, Ahmed Awais while speaking in the program said that ‘leaking’ the story of a national security meeting should be considered an act of treason. He said that he is hopeful that under Justice (retd) Amir Raza a fair inquiry will be held as the former Justice is a man of high integrity.
Sheikh Ahsanuddin, spokesperson for the ‘Pakistan Justice Democratic Party’ however expressed his apprehension regarding constitution of inquiry committee under Justice (retd) Amir Raza and said that it is an open secret that the former Justice is considered as being very close to the ruling party. Sheikh Ahsanuddin said that if the letter written by Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry regarding registration of FIR is not considered his party is considering filing a writ petition in the High Court. He added that his party will wait two-weeks and if an FIR is not registered they will approach the High Court.
It is pertinent to mention here that the government on Monday constituted an inquiry committee tasked with the probe of the Newsgate scandal. Justice (retd) Amir Raza was named as the head of the committee, while one member each from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Military Intelligence (MI) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) are part of the committee. Director of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Usman Anwar has also been included in the committee. Secretary Establishment Engineer Tahir Shahbaz and Ombudsman Punjab Najam Saeed will also be a part of the committee.
The Dawn‘s staffer’s story, ‘Act against militants or face international isolation, civilians tell military’ had ‘described’ what transpired in a high-level meeting in which the civil leadership allegedly criticised the military’s policies on militancy. The Prime Minister’s Office had rejected the story, but the military maintained the story had been ‘leaked’ and demanded a probe into the matter as it viewed the leak as a breach of national security.