Islamabad - In the aftermath of the furore caused by a front page story in the daily Dawn, the author of the story, a member of staff at the newspaper - Cyril Almeida - has been placed on the Exit Control List, according to reliable sources.

The story authored by Mr Almeida, gave details of a National Security Committee meeting. Sources privy to the developments at the meeting quoted details of conversations in which the prime minister, Punjab chief minister and members of government raised concerns related to suspended action against several militant groups, due to their alleged closeness to intelligence agencies.

Both the prime minister’s office and the Punjab CM’s office denied the version of events printed in the story, and alleged that all communications during the National Security Committee meetings have been regular, and without conflict or allegation of the sort stated in the story.

Dawn’s position, as communicated by Editor, Zaffar Abbas, is as follows. “First, this newspaper considers it a sacred oath to its readers to pursue its reporting fairly, independently and, above all, accurately. That story that has been rejected by PM office as a fabrication was verified, cross checked and fact checked.

“Second, many at the helm of affairs are aware of the senior officials and participants of the meeting who were contacted by the newspaper for collecting information and more than one source confirmed and verified the details. Therefore, the elected government and state institutions should refrain from targeting the messenger and scape goating the country’s most respected newspaper in a malicious campaign.”