Matters pertaining to national and regional safety

ISLAMABAD: Matters pertaining to national and regional safety were discussed during the meeting, according to a spokesman for the prime minister. The participants of the meeting expressed concern over the publication of a fabricated news story in the Dawn newspaper pertaining to security issues purportedly discussed in a meeting of the National Security Committee in the last week. The participants were unanimous that the published story clearly violated universally acknowledged principles of reporting on National Security issues and has risked the vital state interests through inclusion of inaccurate and misleading content which had no relevance to actual discussion and facts.

 The military leadership on Monday formally demanded the government to take action against those elements which tried to malign the army and intelligence agencies and raised doubts about their role against terrorism.

The Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the PM House today. Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Interior Minister Ch. Nisar Ali Khan, CM Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and DG ISI Lt. Gen. Rizwan Akhtar were also present during the meeting.

The participants felt that it was imperative that print and electronic media refrained from speculative reporting around issues of national security and interests of the state. The prime minister took serious notice of the violation and directed that those responsible should be identified for stern action. The meeting reaffirmed that the army and intelligence agencies would continue to play a lead role in our fight against terrorism which was proceeding smoothly and without any discrimination whatsoever with complete consensus of all stakeholders.

Sources revealed that the role of some officers in the prime minister’s office would be investigated as well because some leads have been shared with the prime minister. The Punjab government, especially chief minister Shahbaz Sharif assured that he would also investigate the matter personally as someone raised questions on one of his ministers as well, and the military wanted to obtain the facts of this story.

Sources said the prime minister demanded that action be taken against those in his government who do not want good relations between military and civil leadership. This is the first time that a baseless news report has worried both the military and civil leadership.

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