Srinagar: Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif issued directives to remove Syed Tariq Fatemi, special assistant to the prime minister on foreign affairs, from his post for his alleged role in ‘Dawn leaks’, adding that a notification in this regard will be issued shortly, Dawn reported on Saturday.

The directive came after an inquiry committee probing a story published by Dawn on October 6, 2016 submitted its findings in a report to PM Nawaz Sharif, the report said.

Notably, Saturday’s notification from the PM’s Office did not mention why action has been ordered against Fatemi, the report added.

What was the story?

The government had formed a committee in November last year to probe the October 6, 2016 story, which reported the details of a high-level civil-military meeting discussing the issue of banned outfits operating in Pakistan.

The Prime Minister’s Office had initially rejected the story, but the military had mounted pressure to demand a probe into the matter to determine those involved in disclosing the details of the meeting.

In an Editor’s note, published on October 11, 2016, Dawn had clarified its position and stated on the record that the story “was verified, cross-checked and fact-checked.”

The publication of the story led to the sacking of Pervaiz Rasheed as information minister, as the government felt Rasheed should have told the newspaper not to publish it.

The inquiry committee subsequently initiated an inquiry to identify the persons responsible for disclosing the details of the meeting to Cyril Almeida, the journalist who broke the news.

Almeida’s name was also placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) after the publication of the story, but later removed by the interior ministry after human rights and media organisations condemned the move.

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