Do Fatemi’s removal reports represent new trend of irresponsible reporting?

By Salma Ahmed

Till today, nobody knows who was responsible for Dawn Leaks scandal. Dawn Leaks claimed that there were serious differences between civil and military leadership of Pakistan over certain issues.

Dawn Leaks report is yet to be published though it should have been published long ago.

English daily namely The Express Tribune claims that it posses copy of this yet unpublished report and further claims that Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affair Tariq Fatemi is allegedly involved in Dawn Leaks.

In its story published on April 20, 2017, the Express Tribune claims that Fatemi is (was) responsible for leaking report of the civil and military leadership meeting held in Prime Minister House on October 6 last year to Dawn staffer Cyril Almeida.

Newspaper further claims that Fatemi would be removed from his post due to his alleged involvement in Dawn Leaks. The story of the Express Tribune was lifted by The Hindustan Times the same day.

After this story, the issue of Tariq Fatemi was taken up by a number of television anchors and one Anchor Dr. Shahid Masood who is known for his mostly unfounded and contentious comments on News One television claimed that Tariq Fatemi had left Pakistan for United States along with brief cases filled with US currency ($) to avoid his possible arrest.

These reports were unchallenged till Monday April 24, 2017 and now the Foreign Office of Pakistan categorically rejected the stories and maintained that there were baseless stories against the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi in media and warned legal action against those involved in malicious propaganda against him. Foreign Office statement said that Tariq Fatemi was (is) in the Foreign Office performing his official duties.

After rebuttal of Foreign Office, it has become professional responsibility of the Express Tribune to print Dawn Leaks report as it claims it posses unpublished report or at least states in newspaper that it stands by its story.

It was expected that Dr. Shahid Masood would explain his position after FO categorically rejected his story that Tariq Fatemi had left the country. However, he did not touch this issue on Monday (April 24) in his show broadcast by News One.

Ethics of journalism and professional obligations require explanation from all media outlets those have been publishing and running news items against Tariq Fatemi after it is confirmed that he is very much in Islamabad and Dawn Leaks report is yet to be published.

Media men should wait for the publication of Dawn Leaks reports instead of kite flying that is not harmful for their credibility but also for country because our enemies are around us to use such fabricated reports against the country.


The views and opinions expressed in this article/Opinion/Comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Dispatch News Desk (DND). Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of Dispatch News Desk.