ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday removed Information and Broadcasting Minister Pervaiz Rashid from his cabinet over October 6 security meeting's leak to media.
The minister was asked to step down over his alleged role as a source for the report, which said civilian officials had warned the military to stop backing jihadist proxy fighters abroad.
The article, published in the English daily, Dawn, caused an uproar and the journalist who wrote it was briefly hit with a travel ban.
"The planted story related to NSC and NAP meetings published in Dawn on October 6 was a breach of national security. Evidence available so far points to a lapse on part of Information Minister, who has been directed to step down from office to enable holding of an independent and detailed inquiry," a statement by PM office said.
"An including committee including senior officers of ISI, IB and MI is being formed by the Government to Pakistan to clearly apportion blame, identify arrests and motives and expose all those responsible for this episode of stern action in the national interest," it said.
The Dawn story quoting official sources said that civilian government and military were not on same page regarding actions against some specific militant groups and there was heated exchange of words between Punjab CM Shehbaz and ISI chief during a national security meeting.
Pakistan army had dismissed the story as ‚Äúunfounded and planted‚ÄĚ and called for a probe into the leak.
Prime Minister Office and Punjab Chief Minister also rejected the report headlined ‚ÄúAct against militants or face international isolation, civilians tell military‚ÄĚ published in Dawn on Oct 6.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had directed that those responsible should be identified for stern action.
‚ÄúIt had risked the vital state interests through inclusion of inaccurate and misleading content which had no relevance to actual discussion and facts,‚ÄĚ a statement by PM House said following a meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif. - SAMAA
Story first published: 29th October 2016