Cyril Almeida's Name Removed From Pakistan's Exit Control List
TV grab of Pakistani journalist Cyril Almeida's photo.
Pakistani journalist Cyril Almeida who was grounded last week is now free to fly abroad.
A circular issued by Pakistan’s interior ministry said his name was being “deleted” from the ‘Exit Control List’. The decision came after representatives of the country’s media organisations met interior minister Chaudhry Nisar on Friday.
The move curiously comes on the same day as a meeting of Corps commanders. Pakistan’s top military commanders expressed “serious” concern at what they termed “feeding of a false and fabricated story of an important security meeting” which they viewed as a breach of national security. The meeting was presided over by the Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif.
The Dawn journalist was placed on the list for reporting a story about a purported rift between the government and the military on the issue of dealing with non-state actors. The Prime Minister’s office issued three denials on the story but Dawn stood by the reporter and the story.
“No plans to travel anywhere other than to see mum, nephews in their home in Khi. Not sure why I'd run away from my home, which is Pakistan,” Almeida tweeted as soon as the circular was issued.
Pakistani news channel Geo News reported that the decision to remove the journalist’s name came after a delegation of APNS and CPNE met with the interior minister. APNS is the All Pakistan Newspapers society and CPNE is the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors.
“But the removal of the name would in no way affect the ongoing inquiry into the matter and the inquiry would continue till its logical conclusion,” Geo report said.
Dawn newspaper, for whom Almeida works, said on its website saying a notification issued by the Interior Ministry confirmed the removal.
According to reports, the interior minister reiterated during the meeting that the independent media must play its role not only towards safeguarding national interests and security but also counter negative propaganda by enemies of the state.
On October 11 Almeida tweeted that he had been informed he was on the exit control list, a law which bars people from leaving the country.
"All concerned are requested to take immediate action in the matter" - yes, please! pic.twitter.com/nz7AY19G4P
— cyril almeida (@cyalm) October 14, 2016