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Nawaz Sharif orders action over news story on national security

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Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered authorities on Monday to take “stern action” against those responsible for publishing a “fabricated” story about the military and ISI in a leading daily after army chief called on him to discuss national and regional security issues.

Dawn in a front page article on October 6 reported citing sources that the civilian government has informed the military leadership of a growing international isolation of Pakistan due to alleged support for militancy.

Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at PM House on Monday in the presence of finance minister Ishaq Dar, interior minister Nisar Ali Khan, CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif and DG ISI Lieutenant General Rizwan Akhtar.

According to an official statement, matters pertaining to national and regional security and the publication of news story last week in Dawn newspaper was also discussed during the meeting.

“The participants of the meeting 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 in the last week.”

“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.

“Prime Minister took serious notice of the violation and directed that those responsible should be identified for stern action,” according to the statement.

The Pakistan Foreign Office had vehemently rejected the report and termed its as “speculative”.

“The story you are referring to is purely speculative and as the author himself acknowledged that ‘none of the attributed statements were confirmed by the individuals mentioned,” it had said.

Today’s meeting reaffirmed that army and intelligence agencies shall continue to play a lead role in our fight against terrorism which is proceeding smoothly and without any discrimination whatsoever with complete consensus of all stakeholders.

PTI

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