October 09, 2016
ISLAMABAD – Daily Times Sunday came to the defense of Dawn which published a story this week that prompted a backlash.
In an editorial, Daily Times said: “It did not take long for Dawn to be termed as a ‘traitor’ for highlighting a story on issues that have already been covered numerous times by the international media.”
The front page news by senior journalist Cyril Almeida and published on October 6 was headlined: Act against militants or face international isolation, civilians tell military.
Almeida reported that “in a blunt, orchestrated and unprecedented warning, the civilian government has informed the military leadership of a growing international isolation of Pakistan and sought consensus on several key actions by the state.”
Daily Times commented that “while there is a possibility that some of the events as portrayed by the newspaper might be inaccurate or exaggerated, the issues discussed do not deserve the backlash that has been witnessed following the publishing of the news.”
Dawn said that ISI DG Gen Rizwan Akhtar along with National Security Adviser Nasser Janjua will travel to each of the four provinces with a message for provincial apex committees and ISI sector commanders. The message: military-led intelligence agencies are not to interfere if law enforcement acts against militant groups that are banned or until now considered off-limits for civilian action. Gen Akhtar’s inter-provincial tour has begun with a visit to Lahore, the paper reported.
The Daily Times editorial said that unconfirmed sources had suggested that the government had categorically denied the story as inappropriate and full of lies. “Even if there has been a denial to the story, there is nothing in its contents that could be termed ‘inappropriate’. The issues in the report are a reality, including the looming isolation of Pakistan and the free hand to some banned organizations like the Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba, and their leaders Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed.”
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