ISLAMABAD: Former principal information officer (PIO) Rao Tehsin Ali challenged his suspension and orders of disciplinary proceedings against him in the Islamabad High Court on Tuesday.
In his petition, submitted by senior advocate Waseem Sajjad, Ali said he has been wrongly blamed for the Dawn Leaks saga. I was dismissed from my post and asked to report to the Establishment Division, the petition states.
Action was taken against me without showing me the inquiry report of the commission. Itâs my right to acquire the commissionâs report, pleads Ali.
The ministries of interior and information, along with the prime ministerâs principal secretary have been made respondents in the petition.
He has pleaded the court to order the relevant authorities to be provided the report.
The Dawn Leaks inquiry commission recommendations said Ali âwould be proceeded against under the Efficiency & Discipline Rules 1973 on the charges based on the report findingsâ.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on April 29 approved the recommendations of the committee, which ordered proceedings against Ali and withdrew the portfolio of foreign affairs adviser from prime ministerâs special assistant Tariq Fatemi.
“The Prime Minister, having considered the findings of the Committee as to its terms of reference, is pleased to approve its recommendations in para 18 of the report,” read an order released by the PM Office.
Ali told Sun News International.tv that he was awaiting the inquiry commission report and that his lawyer has asked for the classified copy of the report.
âHow could the commission recommend action against me without identifying those responsible for Dawn Leaks,â he asked.
The order released by the PM Office also said that the role of the editor of Dawn Newspaper, Zaffar Abbas, and reporter Cyril Almeida, will be referred to the All Pakistan Newspaper Association (APNS) for necessary disciplinary action to be taken against them.
It added that the APNS will be asked to develop a code of conduct for the media, “especially when dealing with issues relating to security of Pakistan and to ensure that stories on issues of national importance and security are published by abiding to basic journalistic and editorial norms”.
Later in the evening, the Establishment Division issued a notification, making Ali an officer on special duty and asking him to report to the division immediately.
The PIO heads the press information department, which is the principal department of the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage.Â