ISLAMABAD: Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah has claimed that nothing substantial is expected to come out of the Dawn Leaks report and that the government will scapegoat only low-ranked officials and not the ‘real culprits’.
The report – regarding planting of a controversial story in daily Dawn about an October 3, 2016 meeting on national security – was submitted by a probe committee to the Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Tuesday. The report has now been presented to the prime minister.
“Everybody knows what the outcome of the report will be. The actual culprits would never be brought to justice. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali has already admitted that the committee formed to probe the scandal lacks collective consensus,” Shah said on Wednesday.
Shah – who was talking to reporters in his chamber at the Parliament House – criticised the federal government for creating a stir about the leaks probe but coming up with nothing conclusive.
“The information which was leaked in the story helped no one except for anti-state elements to widen rift between the government and the military leadership,” he added.
In the controversial story attributed to unnamed sources, it was claimed that civilian leaders had told military about the ‘growing diplomatic isolation’ of Pakistan for lack of action against some militant groups.
The new report had whipped up a storm and while the federal government had repeatedly denied it as ‘fabricated and planted’, the top army brass had called it a breach of trust on national security.
Later on November 7, 2016, the interior ministry notified a seven-member committee – headed by a retired judge – to probe the controversy. The panel was supposed to submit its report within next 30 days. However, later on it was given one-month extension by the ministry to complete its task.
Shah vowed to foil ‘every plot’ to divide opposition parties in the wake of the Supreme Court’s verdict in Panamagate case and their campaign for ouster of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. “All the opposition parties will collectively expedite their campaign against the government,” he said.
To a question, the opposition leader, who belongs to the PPP, called the PTI chief Imran Khan ‘a wise politician’. This comment surprised many as a day before, the PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari had lambasted the PTI chief and called him ‘fake Khan’.
Shah, who has always been critical of the interior minister, said Nisar always made big claims about launching safe-city project in Islamabad but did little.
“These are mere claims as snatching incidents in Islamabad are a glaring failure of the government to protect even diplomats,” he said, while referring to an incident in which a Canadian senator was robbed of currency and other valuables on Tuesday night.
“The safe-city project cost Rs7 billion but it has failed to protect even the foreign embassy staff and diplomats in the city,” he said, adding that there was no such thing as good governance in the country.