Pakistan

LAHORE – In the backdrop of recent developments in civil-military relations, a meeting held on Friday by Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) expressed concerns over a tweet from the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) about rejecting the notification from the government.

Last month, DG ISPR, Major General Asif Ghafoor, responding to the government’s notification on Dawn leaks, tweeted: “Notification on Dawn Leak is incomplete and not in line with recommendations by the Inquiry Board. Notification is rejected.”

The meeting which was attended by former generals, bureaucrats and intellectuals, recommended that a meeting of the National Security Committee should be convened urgently to repair the damage to civil-military relations and to the image of the elected government and its armed forces.

It was also recommended that the full report of the ‘Dawn Leaks’ Inquiry Committee should be made public immediately ‘to set at rest all doubts about the culpability of persons responsible in this matter of national security.’

The meeting was attended by Lt. Gen. (R) Humayun Bangash, Former Ambassador and former Corps Commander; Lt. Gen. (R) Moinuddin Haider, Former Federal Minister, Former Governor Sindh and former Corps Commander; Mr. Shahid Hamid, Senior Advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan and Former Governor Punjab; Dr. Parvez Hassan, Senior Advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan; Mr. Shahid Malik, Former High Commissioner of Pakistan to India; Mr. Arif Nizami, Senior Journalist and Editor-in-Chief, Pakistan Today and Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, President PILDAT.

The English-language daily Dawn, had published the story on October 6 in which journalist Cyril Almeida had written about an alleged civil-military rift during a National Security Committee (NSC) meeting over the issue of tackling jihadi outfits.

The story stirred a major controversy last year, resulting in Almeida coming under fire from the military and government and being temporarily placed on the Exit Control List. The inquiry committee which investigated the matter comprised one member each from the ISI, MI and IB, Secretary Establishment Tahir Shahbaz, Ombudsman Punjab Najam Saeed, and an FIA director.

Later that month, the Pakistan Army’s top commanders expressed serious concern over the “feeding of a false and fabricated story of an important security meeting”, terming it a breach of national security.