ISLAMABAD - The political and military leadership yesterday reviewed the internal and external security at a huddle, the purpose of which was also to remove the impression created by a section of media of misunderstanding between the two sides.

Presiding over the meeting, which was attended by Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and others, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took serious notice of a ‘fabricated’ news story published in an English newspaper.

Quoting unnamed sources, the news item claimed that at a National Security Committee last week the civilian side had conveyed to the military officials that Pakistan was being isolated in the world primarily because of military agencies’ protecting certain militant groups and checking civilian authorities action against them.

The meeting held at the PM House to discuss matters pertaining to national and regional security was also attended by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali, Punjab CM Shehbaz Sharif and ISI DG Lt-Gen Rizwan Akhtar.

An official statement issued after Monday’s meeting said, “the participants expressed concern over the publication of the ‘fabricated’ news story” and were “unanimous that it was clearly violative of universally acknowledged principles of reporting on national security issues”.

They were of the view that the news item had “risked the vital state interests through inclusion of inaccurate and misleading contents which had no relevance to actual discussion and facts”.

They felt that “it was imperative that print and electronic media refrain itself from speculative reporting”, especially on the matters of national security and state interest.

The prime minister directed that those responsible should be identified for taking stern action.

The meeting reaffirmed that army and intelligence agencies shall continue to play the lead role in the fight against terrorism which is proceeding smoothly and without any discrimination whatsoever with complete consensus of all stakeholders.

A source in the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz informed that the meeting was mainly aimed at erasing the impression of any rift between the civil and military leadership, which the country could not afford in the given circumstances when the armed forces of the country were fighting war against terror and tackling the escalations at Line of Control and working boundary with India at the same time.