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PTI, Islamabad: A leading Pakistani daily on Wednesday asked the civilian and military establishment why action
against JeM chief Masood Azhar and JuD’s Hafiz Saeed was “danger” to the country’s national security.
The strong editorial in The Nation, considered close to the government and military establishment, came as a prominent journalist, Cyril Almeida, of Dawn was banned from leaving Pakistan because of his front-page report on a rift between the military and the civilian government over the military’s covert support to militant groups like the Haqqani network, Taliban and the LeT.
The editorial titled ‘How to Lose Friends And Alienate People’ said the government and the military instead of taking actions against Azhar and Saeed was lecturing the press.
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) leader and Pathankot terror attack mastermind Azhar and Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Saeed, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, roam freely in Pakistan and are believed to have the protection of the military.
The daily said in its editorial that it was a “disturbing day when civilian and military top leadership meet to lecture the media on how to do their job.”
Read: Pak media slams travel ban on Almeida, questions lack of action on Saeed
“Apparently a barrage of online abuse, and three official denials were not enough to assuage tempers riled after Mr Almeida’s exclusive story in Dawn, detailing an unusual exchange between the very same civilian and military top brass that yesterday issued forth a statement on the violation of ‘universally acknowledged principles of reporting on national security issues’, the editorial said.
“The report by Mr Almeida has been called ‘fabricated’, and ‘speculative reporting’. But the government and military top brass in yesterday’s meeting delivered no explanation for why government MNA’s are protesting the visible presence of banned outfits in Pakistan. Or why possible action against Masood Azhar, or Hafiz Saeed is a danger to ‘national security’.