Dawn Leaks
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ISPR Press Release issued after the 200th Corps Commanders’ conference held in GHQ on Thursday,March 9, 2017, mentioned that the issue of Dawn leaks was also discussed. What is its importance?

 

Dawn Leaks – immediately coming after the Indian claims of Surgical Strikes across LOC, in Kashmir, on 28th September 2016 – was seen as internal conspiracy to support the Indian position on Uri attacks.

It is generally believed, in political and media circles, that Army High Command had already compromised on this, when in the last few weeks of Gen. Raheel Sharif’s term there was no progress after the resignation of ex-Information Minister, Pervaiz Rashid. And the sources inside the PMLN government in Islamabad also give the same impression that, since the change of Army High Command, the matter now stands settled. Therefore the mention in the Official Press Release of ISPR, after the 200th Core Commander’s Conference on March 9, was significant.

Though it is a single line reference that “Dawn Leaks was also discussed” but it is significant nevertheless. Few weeks earlier, during a briefing of Army Chief, COAS, Gen. Qamar Bajwa, in Kharian Cantt, junior officers questioned the chief about Dawn Leaks, and reportedly the new Army Chief had admonished them not to get into everything.

read more: Officers question Army Chief on “Dawn Leaks” & “Rana’s comments on Military Courts”

sources inside the PMLN government in Islamabad also give the same impression that, since the change of Army High Command, the matter now stands settled. Therefore the mention in the Official Press Release of ISPR, after the 200th Core Commander’s Conference on March 9, was significant.

However countless sources inside the military inform that the feelings about the lack of proper investigation and exposure of the characters involved into Dawn Leaks run very deep within the military. This is an army which is continuously in a state of war, an army that has sacrificed more than 5000 officers and soldiers (jawans) in the past few years and thousands more seriously injured or maimed in an endless fight against the enemies of the state. Army, therefore as an institution, feels strongly about the internal conspiracies against the institution. Grass root feelings in a genuinely strong living institution always travel vertically upwards; reportedly Pakistan Army has a special unit, “Battalion 408” that maintains “Army’s pulse” and transits it to the top.

Dawn Leaks – immediately coming after the Indian claims of Surgical Strikes across LOC, in Kashmir, on 28th September 2016 – was seen as internal conspiracy to support the Indian position on Uri attacks. Narendra Modi’s government claimed surgical strikes in retaliation against the Uri attacks on Sept 18, 2016.

Grass root feelings in a genuinely strong living institution always travel vertically upwards; reportedly Pakistan Army has a special unit, “Battalion 408” that maintains “Army’s pulse” and transits it to the top.

However Uri attack came just three days before Pakistan’s PM, Nawaz Sharif was set to speak at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Pakistan was all set to raise the issue of Indian human right violations in the Indian controlled Kashmir valley. It was Pakistan’s opportunity to bring international pressure on India. India was facing a serious political challenge inside Kashmir since the death of Kashmiri militant, Burhan Muzafar Wani in July. By the third week of September, more than than 100 men, women and children had died, more than 10,000 injured and almost a thousand young Kashmiris were shot in the eyes by pellets. United Nations Human Right Committee, based in Geneva, had taken a serious notice of  developments inside Kashmir.

Read Also: Barbarity with Modernity: India introduces new pellet guns for Kashmiris – Global Village Space

However Uri attack came just three days before Pakistan’s PM, Nawaz Sharif was set to speak at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Pakistan was all set to raise the issue of Indian human right violations in the Indian controlled Kashmir valley. It was Pakistan’s opportunity to bring international pressure on India.

Pakistani government agencies, media and analysts therefore found the sudden mysterious attack on an Indian army camp, in Uri, on Sept 18, very strange and suspicius in terms of timing. Inside sources concluded that “Uri” represents all the characteristics of a “false flag operation”. Uri attacks dramatically helped India divert attention from the political and human right situation inside the Kashmir valley. Modi government suddenly got the much needed breathing space and legitimacy on international platforms; it condemned the political turmoil inside Kashmir as terrorism, blamed Pakistan based militants for it and within 10 days launched border raids across LOC in Kashmir describing these as US style “Surgical Strikes”.

Read Also: Attack on Indian Army in Uri, Kashmir, Pakistan & United States: Cui Bono? Who benefits and How? -Global Village Space

These series of events suddenly diverted all international attention from internal situation of Kashmir to a new momentum of “Indo-Pakistani tensions”. Before Uri and so called “Indian Surgical Strikes” all media attention – Pakistani, international and even India – was focused on Kashmir; Indo-Pakistani tensions had no real existence, but suddenly – after Uri – all news agenda was dominated by the Indo-Pakistani war situation- a Nuclear Flash point in South Asia.

To this day, there is no formal charge sheet of those who conspired to create this high political drama against Pakistan’s best interests nor there is any explanation as to what their real intentions were.

It was in this context that “Dawn Leaks” emerged on Oct 6, creating the impression as if Pakistani authorities were themselves suspicious of “Pakistani based militants” for the Uri attacks. The controversial Dawn story was: “Act against militants or face international isolation, civilians tell military.” Dawn then claimed that story was verified and fact-checked but later the office of Prime Minister rejected it multiple times, after its publication.

Read Also: Pakistan’s Arrest of Hafiz Saeed: Was it a wise move at this stage? -GVS

Suspicions immediately arose, in the media and political circles, that it was not just a media leak by some elements but the whole context of the conversation – with intelligence chief – was staged; it looked strange for its timings and the way it was conducted and then leaked.

It was in this context that “Dawn Leaks” emerged on Oct 6, creating the impression as if Pakistani authorities were themselves suspicious of “Pakistani based militants” for the Uri attacks. The controversial Dawn story was: “Act against militants or face international isolation, civilians tell military.”

Because had it been a “media leak” against the government then it was only natural that government would be interested in identifying, nailing down and punishing the culprits. Subsequent efforts done by the government to delay and suppress a transparent investigation – as to who was responsible and continuous attempts to sideline the issue –  has only strengthened the widely believed accusations that high ups inside the Prime Minister’s Office – may be people very close to the PM – were responsible. Sections of media aligned with the government kept on belittling the importance of “Dawn Leaks” and ridiculing all those who demanded investigaton. To this day, there is no formal charge sheet of those who conspired to create this high political drama against Pakistan’s best interests nor there is any explanation as to what their real intentions were. ISPR Press Release of March 9, then serves to underline that for the Army as a national institution, this matter is still very much alive.

read more: Nawaz, Modi, Dawn & Pakistan Army: What Is Happening & Why?

 

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