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Cyril Almeida in 'Exit Control List' proves veracity of report against Pak Army: RK Singh

News Agencies | Updated on: 11 February 2017, 5:47 IST

After Pakistan included a journalist's name in the 'Exit Control List', former home secretary RK Singh on 11 October said Islamabad's action only proves that the report published by the journalist was true.

Cyril Almeida, an assistant editor at the Dawn, Pakistan's oldest English daily, announced today that he had been included in the 'Exit Control List' after an uproar sparked by his report which stated that government officials had clashed with the military over its covert support for militants.

Also Read: Dawn backs Cyril Almeida after Pakistani journalist's 'exclusive' story puts him on Exit Control List

Commenting on the development, Singh said the action against the journalist establishes two things.

"First it establishes the veracity of the report itself. This shows that what was reported in Dawn is correct. The civilian government has been uncomfortable for a long time, whether the actions of the ISI and the Pakistani military in giving support to terrorists. And the reaction against Pakistan is manifested internationally. That's why the civilian government wants the ISI and the army to stop this," Singh said.

"The other thing which the action against the journalist makes clear is that the army and the ISI are still calling the shots in Pakistan because the action against the journalist was taken at the insistence of the army and the ISI because the report in Dawn was not against the civilian government, but against the army and the ISI. This action proves that the army and the ISI are the deciding entity in Pakistan," he added.

The former home secretary said this was something which should concern the whole world.

"The whole world should see that the ISI and the army come under the control of the civilian government," he said.

The report, which was published last Friday, prompted threats on social media and was denied three times by the office of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

"I am told and have been informed and have been shown evidence that I am on the Exit Control List," Cyril Almeida Tweeted, followed a short time later by "I feel sad tonight. This is my life, my country. What went wrong."

Almeida on 6 October had broken the story of an "unprecedented warning" delivered by the civilian government to the military in the aftermath of India's surgical strikes at a meeting held on 3 October in Islamabad between the two leaderships.

The story also claimed there was a "verbal confrontation" between Prime Minister Sharif's brother and Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif and ISI chief Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar over the Army's support given to non-state actors like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed.

In his report, Almeida said leading civilian officials had warned the powerful army to renounce covert support for proxy fighters such as the Haqqani network allied to the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba, blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks -- or face isolation.

On Monday night, Dawn's editor, Zaffar Abbas, issued a statement on an official Facebook page standing by a story which he said had been "verified, cross-checked and fact-checked".

India has been constantly trying to diplomatically isolate Pakistan after four terrorists from across the border attacked an army base in Uri in Kashmir on 19 September.

19 Indian Army soldiers had lost their lives. Following the public outrage, India led a boycott of the SAARC regional summit in Pakistan, which was slated to be held in Islamabad in November.

On the night of 28 September, Indian Army conducted surgical strikes across the Line of Control.


First published: 11 October 2016, 4:52 IST