Participants of a Corps Commanders meeting at General Headquarters in Rawalpindi on Friday expressed serious concern over what they said was a leak from a security meeting which was reported by Dawn earlier this month.
In a statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), participants of the meeting expressed serious concern over “feeding of false and fabricated story of an important security meeting held at PM House and viewed it as breach of national security.”
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif presided over the meeting which was attended by all corps commanders and principal staff officers.
Almeida’s name was added to the Exit Control List – preventing travel abroad – on Monday after he wrote the news report “Act against militants or face international isolation, civilians tell military”. The Prime Minister Office rejected the story thrice since it was published on October 6.
In an Editor’s note, Dawn clarified its position and stated on the record that the story “was verified, cross-checked and fact-checked.”
The note further stated: “Many at the helm of affairs are aware of the senior officials, and participants of the meeting who were contacted by the newspaper for collecting information. Therefore, the elected government and state institutions should refrain from targeting the messenger, and scape-goating the country’s most respected newspaper in a malicious campaign.”
In the wake of the travel ban on Almeida, human rights and journalists’ organisations including the HRCP, PFUJ and CPNE protested and rallied in his support. Most TV news channels also ran reports and conducted programmes criticising the government’s decision.
The participants held a comprehensive review of the internal and external security situation with a particular focus on prevailing environment at the Line of Control (LoC) and the operational preparedness of the Pakistan Army.
Participants rejected the Indian claims of ‘hoax’ surgical strikes as an attempt to divert the world’s attention away from brutalities being committed by the Indian Army against Kashmiris in held Kashmir, ISPR said.
The forum resolved that any attempt of misadventurism and irresponsible act will be met with the most befitting response.
While expressing complete satisfaction over the operational preparedness of troops, the COAS reiterated the army’s resolve to defend Pakistan against a full spectrum of threat.
Recounting the successes of Operation Zarb-i-Azb and the resultant stability achieved, the COAS reiterated the need for sustained efforts on internal security to defeat all hostile attempts to reverse gains made.
The participants resolved to continue sustained and focused combing and intelligence-based operations across the length and breadth of the country to uproot terrorism, harmonising it with implementation of the National Action Plan to address extremism and other causes of terrorism, the ISPR said.