Govt unlikely to make Dawn leaks report public

Cyril Almeida. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB

ISLAMABAD: The Panama Papers case in the Supreme Court has also overshadowed the Dawn leaks’ issue despite the fact that the commission constituted to probe the news leak has completed its findings and submitted its report to the relevant quarters, sources said.

Defence analysts believe like the fate of reports of the majority of commissions formed in the past, this commission’s report to probe Cyril Almeida’s controversial story would not be made public, as a lot of dust has already settled since the controversy erupted.

Sources in the relevant quarters told The Express Tribune that responsibility has been fixed on some persons in the commission report for planting the story that created rift between the military establishment and the government.

A person who was close enough to the PM has also been held responsible in the report, they added.

The federal government on November 7 formed a seven-member committee/commission headed by a retired high court judge to probe the controversial story of Cyril Almeida.

The committee, which was notified by the Ministry of Interior (MoI) was given the task to submit its report within next 30 days. However, later on it was given one-month extension by the ministry to complete its task.

The committee was assigned the job to establish the identity of those who allegedly planted the story, and at occasions it was hinted at by competent authorities that its report should be made public. However, its findings are yet to see the light of day for reasons best known to the stakeholders.

Former information minister Pervaiz Rashid lost his portfolio on the grounds that he failed to play his role effectively to restrain the journalist from running the controversial story.

Brigadier (retd) Said Nazeer Mohmand told The Express Tribune: “In the case of Almeida’s story, security agencies and the government are two stakeholders.”

He said after the change in command of the army, no forceful reminder had been conveyed by the army’s top brass to the government regarding the commission’s findings and to take the persons involved in it to task.

Moreover, he said, the government by removing the information minister from his post had succeeded in defusing the tension to a great extent.

“At present, everybody’s hands are full, so I don’t think that the commission’s report will be made public when apparently there is no demand to do so.

“The government and security agencies may have gotten their respective ‘shares’ out of the findings of the commission. The public will continue to get information on the commission’s findings through the media in bits,” Brig (retd) Mohmand said.

He said the commission was a formality and like other commissions’ reports its report would become history as well.

According to the ministry’s notification, Justice (retd) Aamer Raza Khan was appointed as head of the committee/commission to probe the controversial story.

One member each from the MI and IB was part of the commission. Establishment Secretary Tahir Shahbaz, Ombudsman Punjab, Najam Saeed and Director Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Usman Anwar were also part of the committee.

In a controversial story, attributed to unnamed sources, Cyril Almeida had reported in the English daily that in a high-level meeting on national security held on October 3 last year, the civilian leaders spoke about the growing diplomatic isolation of Pakistan for lack of action against some militant groups. From the military side, DG, ISI attended the meeting where other participants were civilian government officials, including Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif.

The top army brass was of the opinion that breach of trust had happened on national security by planting a false and fabricated story to the newspaper.

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