Pakistani journalist Cyril Almeida, who reported in the Dawn on a meeting between the civilian government and the military recently, has been put on the Exit Control List (ECL), prohibiting him from leaving that country. Almeida confirmed the development, tweeting: “I am told and have been informed and have been shown evidence that I am on the Exit Control List.”
The ECL is a system of border control maintained by the Government of Pakistan under the Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance. Those persons on the list are prohibited from leaving Pakistan.
In another tweet, Almeida said: “Was a long-planned trip, for at least several mths now. There are certain things that I will never, ever forgive,” adding, “I feel sad tonight. This is my life, my country. What went wrong.”
On Monday, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered authorities to take “stern action” against those responsible for publishing what he termed as a “fabricated” story about the military and ISI after the army chief called on him to discuss national and regional security issues.
According to an official press release, “The participants of the meeting expressed concern over the publication of a fabricated news story in Daily Dawn pertaining to security issues purportedly discussed in a meeting of National Security Committee in the last week.”
This was the third statement issued by Pakistan’s Prime Minister’s Office. The first was issued on October 6, hours later a revised version was issued, and yet another on October 10. “Prime Minister took serious notice of the violation and directed that those responsible should be identified for stern action,” the statement read.
In his frontpage report, Almeida reported that the Nawaz Sharif government in Pakistan had warned its military leadership of international isolation that the country is facing, seeking consensus on several key actions by the state. The report further stated that the civilian government and its military have agreed to two sets of actions.
Puzzled, saddened. Had no intention of going anywhere; this is my home. Pakistan.
— cyril almeida (@cyalm) October 11, 2016
Pakistan’s ISI DG Gen Rizwan Akhtar, along with NSA Nasser Janjua, will travel to the four Pakistani provinces informing intelligence agencies ‘not to interfere if law enforcement acts against militant groups that are banned or until now considered off-limits for civilian action’.
Second, Nawaz Sharif has ordered that fresh attempts be made to conclude the investigations into the Pathankot attack as well as “restart the stalled Mumbai attacks-related trials in a Rawalpindi anti-terrorism court’.