PPP Senator Aitzaz Ahsan on Monday claimed he government made former information minister Pervaiz Rasheed a sacrificial lamb by holding him responsible for publication of Dawn’s story on a high-level meeting.
The PPP senator’s statements come a day after Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar said Pervaiz Rasheed did not make any attempt to stop the publication of Dawn’s story on a high-level meeting.
“If he had halted the news from being printed, he would also have been accused of stopping news getting out,” Aitzaz said.
Aitzaz alleged that there was a more “powerful minister” behind the ‘leak’. “That person should be exposed,” the PPP senator said.
Chaudhry Nisar during a press conference on Sunday claimed that certain records involving Rasheed said the reporter had contacted him for comments about a story regarding [Punjab Chief Minister] Shahbaz Sharif and the ISI chief.
“Pervaiz Rasheed called the reporter into his office. Through my entire investigation… I reached the conclusion that Pervaiz Rasheed should have told the reporter that this story is wrong, ‘Do not publish this story in view of national interest’,” Nisar said.
“There is a lapse. He had a duty as information minister when these decisions [his resignation] were made… He should have understood the implications of the story and stopped it.”
Nisar maintained that all information given to Dawn about an altercation between Shahbaz Sharif and the ISI chief, or the foreign secretary’s comments that Pakistan stands isolated in the world are all false.
Information Minister Parvaiz Rasheed resigned from his position as Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage on Saturday.
A statement issued by the Prime Minister’s office had said: “Evidence available so far points to a lapse on part of the information minister, who has been directed to step down from the office to enable holding of an independent and detailed inquiry.”