ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has taken back the Ministry of Information from Pervaiz Rashid, according to reports on Saturday.

The ministry has been taken back from Rashid until the probe of a leaked story published in Dawn is completed.

An inquiry committee has been constituted which is probing how the story was leaked. The committee comprises senior officials of ISI, MI and IB.  The committee also includes high-ranking police officials. The committee will be tasked with finding out what were the interests and goals of the story.

A probe by the interior ministry had identified neglect on part of the information minister.

English newspaper DAWN published a story on October 6, in which journalist Cyril Almeida had written about an alleged civilian and military rift during the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting over the issue of tackling jihadi outfits.

The story drew an outpour of criticism with the military stating that it was fed to the reporter and demanded investigations into it. It cost Almeida placement of his name on the Exit Control List for less than a week, before the government eventually lifted his travel ban.

On October 28, senior leaders of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif, the ISPR confirmed.

The military’s media wing said Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif met General Raheel Sharif at the Army House between 4:00PM and 5:30PM.

“The delegation briefed COAS on the progress of investigation and recommendations related to planted story of National Security breach of 6 Oct 2016,” said the statement.

The meeting was also attended by DG ISI Lt-General Rizwan Akhtar, said the ISPR.

Feeding of Dawn story national security breach

During a Corps Commanders meeting on October 14, Pakistan’s top military commanders expressed serious concern over what they called the “feeding of a false and fabricated story of an important security meeting”, terming it a breach of national security.

The ‘fabricated story’ was an apparent reference to a the news report published in Dawn.

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