Friday, October 7th, 2016

Nawaz Sharif slams ‘Dawn’ report of secret meeting with Pak army on terrorists

Narada Desk | October 7, 2016 11:04 am Print
On Thursday, 'Dawn' had reported that the Pakistan government told its military about the growing international isolation of Islamabad and sought consensus on several key actions by the state

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has rejected a Pakistani daily report that claims that the Pakistan government and its army had an undisclosed meeting, wherein the govt had directed the military leadership to act against anti-India militants to save the country from international isolation.

The Dawn, a Pakistani daily on Thursday reported that the Pakistan Muslim League (N)-led government has  informed the Pakistan military about the growing international isolation of Islamabad and has sought consensus on several key actions by the state.

However, Nawaz Sharif’s office, in an official statement, ‘strongly rejected’ the report, calling it ‘not only speculative but misleading and factually incorrect’.

The statement said: “The Spokesman of the Prime Minister’s Office has strongly rejected a story published in daily Dawn of October 6, 2016, regarding purported deliberations in a meeting on security issues.”

The statement added that, “The Spokesman has termed the contents of the story not only speculative but misleading and factually incorrect.  It is an amalgamation of fiction and half-truths which too are invariably reported out of context. The fact that the report itself states that none of the attributed statements were confirmed by the individuals mentioned in the story, clearly makes it an example of irresponsible reporting.”

“It is imperative that those demanding the right to information at par with the international best practices, also act in a manner which is at par with international reporting norms and standards,” the statement further added.

As per the Thursday’s report of the Pakistani daily, at least two sets of actions have been agreed as a result of the most recent meeting, an undisclosed one on the day of the All Parties’ Conference, which took place on Monday.

Firstly, General Rizwan Akhtar,  Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), accompanied by National Security Adviser (NSA) Nasser Janjua, is to travel to each of the four provinces with a message for provincial apex committees and ISI sector commanders.

The message: military-led intelligence agencies are not to interfere if law enforcement acts against militant groups that are banned or until now considered off-limits for civilian action. Gen Akhtar’s inter-provincial tour has begun with a visit to Lahore.

In the second set of action, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed that fresh attempts be made to conclude the Pathankot investigation and restart the stalled Mumbai attacks-related trials in a Rawalpindi anti-terrorism court.

The daily also reported that the meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Sharif and had the presence of senior cabinet and provincial officials.