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Interior ministry strikes journalist’s name off ECL

ISLAMABAD: Interior Ministry on Friday decided to remove a journalist’s name from Exit Control List after getting assurance that the journalist will help investigation regarding his ‘fabricated’ story , sources told ARY News.

The directives came after after Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar met a delegation of All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) who assured that the journalist Cyril Almeida will help authorities in the investigation regarding the story.

Talking to the delegation,  the Interior Minister reiterated his call that independent media must play its role not only towards safeguarding national interests but also to counter negative propaganda of the enemies of state.

“Unverified and speculative news items citing sources on national security issues must be refrained that crosses ethical boundaries of responsible journalism” said Nisar.

The APNS and CPNE delegation consisted of Sarmad Ali, president APNS, Zia Shahid, President CPNE, Umar Shami, Secretary General APNS, Aijaz Ul Haq, Secretary General CPNE and senior journalists Arif Nizami and Mujeeb ur Rahman Shami.

Related: English daily’s journalist admits his story was based on assumptions: FO


The decision came at a time when Corps Commander Conference reportedly expressed concern over the story and termed its publication a ‘breach of national security’.

Interior Ministry had placed Cyril Almeida’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL) binding him to remain the country until the completion of a government committee’s inquiry into the story, which authorities have repeatedly denied.

The informal committee would decide if anyone was to be prosecuted in relation to the story and would complete this task in about 3-4 days.

Almeida, a leading columnist, wrote a story on October 6 that gave an account of a high-level security meeting between civilian and government officials quoting anonymous sources.




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