World Bulletin / News Desk
Cyrel Almeida, a senior journalist and columnist, reported in the English-language Dawn newspaper earlier this week that the government had warned the army to "act against militancy or face international isolation."
The government has refuted the report three times in a week.
“I am told and have been informed and have been shown evidence that I am on the Exit Control List," Almeida tweeted on Tuesday, referring to a list used by the government to prevent citizens travelling abroad.
Almeida quoted unnamed sources saying Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's brother, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, and other cabinet ministers had warned the army chief General Raheel Sharif to act against “non-state actors” – a reference to banned militant groups like Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, and Jaish-e-Mohammad.
The controversial story came as tension remains high between hostile neighbors Pakistan and India, after the latter accused Pakistan of having a role in an attack on Indian army base in Indian-held Kashmir that killed 19 soldiers.
A statement form the prime minister's office called the Almeida's is "inaccurate and misleading" but Dawn management stood by the reporter, saying the story was “verified, cross-checked and fact-checked.”
“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,” Dawn Editor Zaffar Abbas said in a statement.