Islamabad : Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif sacked Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid for the “lapse” on his part to stop a “false” report on a rift between the government and the powerful army from being published in national interest, said a senior minister. Addressing a press conference, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said: “Pervez Rashid should have told the journalist concerned that the story is incorrect, and should not be published in national interest…upon resistance he could have asked the editor of the newspaper, not to run the story.” Buckling under pressure from the army, Sharif sent his information minister packing after preliminary investigations established a “lapse” on his part. The Dawn newspaper had published a report on October 6 about a rift between the civilian and military leaderships on support to banned terror groups in the country.
Nisar said, “Some documented and undocumented records involving Pervaiz Rashid say the reporter contacted him for comments about a story regarding (Punjab Chief Minister) Shahbaz Sharif and the ISI chief.” “Pervaiz Rashid called the reporter into his office.
Through my entire investigation… I reached the conclusion that Pervaiz Rashid should have told the reporter that this story is wrong, ‘Do not publish this story in view of national interest’,” Nisar was quoted as saying by the Dawn. “He should have spoken to (Dawn Editor) Zaffar Abbas, Dawn’s management or the government. So 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.”