In the controversial story attributed to unnamed sources, Cyril Almeida had reported that in a high-level meeting on national security held on October 3 last year, the civilian leaders had spoken about the ‘growing diplomatic isolation’ of Pakistan for lack of action against some militant groups.
Reportedly the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) director general was present in the meeting attended by a number of functionaries including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shehbaz Sharif.
The new report had whipped up a storm and while the federal government had repeatedly denied it as ‘fabricated and planted’, the top army brass had called it a breach of trust on national security.
Last year on November 7, the MoI notified a seven-member committee – headed by a retired judge Aamer Raza Khan – to probe the controversy. The panel was supposed to submit its report within next 30 days. However, later on it was given one-month extension by the ministry to complete its task.
One member each from the ISI, Military Intelligence and Intelligence Bureau were included in the panel. Establishment Secretary Tahir Shahbaz, Punjab’s Ombudsman Najam Saeed and the Federal Investigation Agency Director Usman Anwar were also part of the committee.
The committee was assigned the job to establish the identity of those who allegedly planted the story. Former information minister Pervaiz Rashid has already lost his portfolio on grounds that he failed to play his role effectively to restrain the journalist from running the controversial story.