Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed resigns from office

Information Minister Parvaiz Rasheed has resigned from his position as Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, DawnNews reported Saturday.

News channels quoted sources as saying that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif asked Pervaiz Rasheed to resign from his post.

The development comes after the publication of Dawn story “Act against militants or face international isolation, civilians tell military”, which reports details of a high level civil-military meeting discussing the issue of Pakistan’s banned outfits.

Sources also said Rasheed’s portfolio was taken away after a preliminary inquiry was launched by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. They added that the premier has ordered a formal inquiry as to whether Rasheed was involved in the leak from the meeting.

The Prime Minister’s Office had rejected the story, but the military maintained the story had been “leaked” and demanded a probe into the matter as they viewed the leak as a breach of national security.

In an Editor’s note, Dawn clarified its position and stated on the record that the story “was verified, cross-checked and fact-checked.”

Earlier this month, participants of a corps commander meeting expressed serious concern over what they said was “feeding of false and fabricated story of an important security meeting held at PM House and viewed it as breach of national security.

Media reports also stated Saturday that Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has left for Dubai with his family. However, the reasons behind his decision to travel are unclear and it is also not clear whether his departure is in any way connected to the probe of the Dawn story.

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