Dawn Leaks: Rao Tehsin challenges suspension in Islamabad High Court

Former principal information officer (PIO) Rao Tehsin Ali
Former principal information officer (PIO) Rao Tehsin Ali challenged his suspension and orders of disciplinary proceedings against him in the Islamabad High Court on Tuesday.

In his petition, submitted by senior advocate Waseem Sajjad, Ali said he has been wrongly blamed for the Dawn Leaks saga. I was dismissed from my post and asked to report to the Establishment Division, the petition states.

Action was taken against me without showing me the inquiry report of the commission. It’s my right to acquire the commission’s report, pleads Ali.

The ministries of interior and information, along with the prime minister’s principal secretary have been made respondents in the petition.

He has pleaded the court to order the relevant authorities to be provided the report.

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The Dawn Leaks inquiry commission recommendations said Ali “would be proceeded against under the Efficiency & Discipline Rules 1973 on the charges based on the report findings”.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on April 29 approved the recommendations of the committee, which ordered proceedings against Ali and withdrew the portfolio of foreign affairs adviser from prime minister’s special assistant Tariq Fatemi.

“The Prime Minister, having considered the findings of the Committee as to its terms of reference, is pleased to approve its recommendations in para 18 of the report,” read an order released by the PM Office.

“How could the commission recommend action against me without identifying those responsible for Dawn Leaks,” he asked.

The order released by the PM Office also said that the role of the editor of Dawn Newspaper, Zaffar Abbas, and reporter Cyril Almeida, will be referred to the All Pakistan Newspaper Association (APNS) for necessary disciplinary action to be taken against them.

Also read: Prime Minister Nawaz, Nisar discuss Dawn Leaks recommendations

It added that the APNS will be asked to develop a code of conduct for the media, “especially when dealing with issues relating to security of Pakistan and to ensure that stories on issues of national importance and security are published by abiding to basic journalistic and editorial norms”.

Later in the evening, the Establishment Division issued a notification, making Ali an officer on special duty and asking him to report to the division immediately.

The PIO heads the press information department, which is the principal department of the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage.

The story in Dawn stirred a major controversy last year, resulting in Almeida coming under fire from the military and government and being temporarily placed on the Exit Control List. The inquiry committee which investigated the matter comprised one member each from the Inter Services Intelligence, Military Intelligence and Intelligence Bureau, Establishment Secretary Tahir Shahbaz, Punjab Ombudsman Najam Saeed, and an FIA director.

The committee was headed by Justice (retd) Amir Raza Khan.

Read more: DawnLeaks: Rao Tehsin removed as Principle Information Officer

Later, the Pakistan Army’s top commanders expressed serious concern over the “feeding of a false and fabricated story of an important security meeting”, terming it a breach of national security.

The government called it a ‘fabricated’ story and termed the “purported deliberations” during the security meeting as speculative, misleading, factually incorrect, and an “amalgamation of fiction and fabrication”.

Following a preliminary investigation, the government relieved Senator Pervaiz Rasheed of his responsibilities as federal minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage pending a high-level inquiry.

Originally Posted on SuchTv


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