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Dawn leaks scandal nearing its resolution?


MAY 06, (DNA) – According to sources, the Punjab CM and the Prime Minister met with Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa on Thursday night. The meeting lasted one hour and reportedly, an agreement was reached over the matter of Dawn leaks.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have successfully alleviated the military’s concerns regarding the Dawn leaks inquiry report’s recommendation, it has been reported.

Previously, on 29th April, the Prime Minister’s secretary released a notification which informed of the sacking of Principal Information Officer (PIO) Rao Tehseen and Special Adviser on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi. The notification also directed All Pakistan Newspaper Society to discipline the Dawn newspaper and its journalist, Cyril Almeida.

The notification caused an instant uproar on social media platforms because it was perceived as an attempt of the government to shield the actual culprits who planted the false story.

Within hours of the release of this notification the DG ISPR Major Gen. Asif Ghafoor rejected the notification in a tweet. “Notification on Dawn Leak is incomplete and not in line with recommendations by the Inquiry Board. Notification is rejected,” the tweet read.

The tweet indicated friction between the military and government establishments over the Dawn leaks issue and was the subject of much speculation in the media. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar termed the tweet “deathly poison” for democracy.

Chaudhry Nisar met with the Prime Minister on Friday to discuss the detailed notification that was expected to be published by the government this week. Chaudhry Nisar is said to have good relations with the army.

In the build up to this spat between the army and the government, COAS Gen. Qamar Bajwa was under pressure from voices in the military who demanded justice for the maligning of their institution to further enemy narratives. Reportedly, Army jawans had expressed to the COAS that they felt their sacrifices for the country were being disparaged by the attempts to discredit their institutions. Dawn leaks had also been termed as a threat to national security following a corps commander’s meeting

Recent reports suggest that tensions have been diffused between the army and the PML-N government. However, it remains to be seen if the increased severity of the government’s measures to punish the perpetrators of Dawn leaks is proportional to the strong stance taken by the Army.

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