Principal Information Officer (PIO) Rao Tehseen has stated that he will challenge the findings of the Dawn Leaks inquiry commission in court. He said that the commission did not identify the actual leak so how could they ask for his resignation?
Despite the immense significance of this development, almost all newspapers and TV channels have failed to report it. Geo TV briefly mentioned it before midnight and only one Urdu paper, Jang, carries the news item. There is silence of death across all Pakistani media.
Rao Tehseen is emphasizing that he had nothing to do with the leak and said that his lawyer has asked for the inquiry commission’s confidential report. All political parties and many in the media have been demanding the release of the full report of the inquiry committee.
The nature of the charges against both, Mr. Fatemi and Mr. Tehseen remain unclear however both have denied any involvement in the controversy.
Mr. Tehseen’s removal was one of the clauses of the notification released by the Prime Minister’s office after the submission of the inquiry commission’s report.
Previously, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Tariq Fatemi also refused to resign from his post and had stated that he was not a part of the Dawn Leaks controversy. He was subsequently removed from his post.
The nature of the charges against both, Mr. Fatemi and Mr. Tehseen remain unclear however both have denied any involvement in the controversy. Pervaiz Rasheed, ex-Information Minister, has so far maintained total silence.
Within hours of the notification’s release it had been rejected by the Army and subsequently withdrawn by the government. Chaudhry Nisar, Interior Minister, stated that the matter was being handled by his office and the notification released by the PM’s Secretary did not have bearing on the official decision of the government regarding the matter of the leaks.
Many in Islamabad’s official and media circles believe that Fawad Hassan Fawad, Secretary to the Prime Minister, was also involved in the “Dawn leaks”.
On Sunday, a meeting was convened in Lahore by the Prime Minister to discuss the recent developments, attended by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Fawad Hassan Fawad – whose office released the notification in question – and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shehbaz.
Media speculated, quoting sources, that PM Nawaz has tasked Ch. Nisar and CM Shahbaz to reduce tensions with the military on Dawn Leaks and ISPR press-release of “rejection” of PM’s Notification of recommendations. However Prime Minister’s daughter, Maryam Nawaz tweeted that no one has been tasked with any assignment in the meeting.
All statements being attributed to PM on media after the consultative meeting are incorrect. No one has been assigned any task by the PM.
— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) April 30, 2017
Many in the media, reacted by reminding Ms. Maryam Nawaz that she is not Prime Minister’s press secretary.
MNS is a good media manager. What is wrong if she formally takes over the charge as press secretary to the PM pic.twitter.com/0irUZBCQs1
— Khawar Ghumman (@Ghummans) April 30, 2017
Reportedly, Ch. Nisar is displeased with the notification’s release and has expressed that he felt “bypassed”. Others in PMLN argue that Nisar has lost his relevance in the political system and with his press conference, after ISPR tweet, he was merely asserting to make himself important.
Another meeting, between the PM and his brother, CM Shehbaz Sharif, is also said to have taken place on Sunday. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss Imran Khan’s bribery allegations, it has been reported.