New Delhi: The Pakistan government, which has come under attack from several quarters for putting travel restrictions on noted Dawn columnist Cyril Almeida in connection with his explosive report on the country's political and military leadership, has now decided to reverse the action taken against the journalist.
An announcement in this regard was made Pakistan’s Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar said late Thursday that an inquiry will be conducted into how Almeida got onto the ECL in the first place.
''The inquiry will take 3-4 days after which everyone will be allowed to travel freely,' he said.
Chaudhry Nisar said that had the government not grounded Almeida, they would have been blamed for letting him go because he had plans of travelling abroad.
He also said that the Indian media was using the report to verify the Indian narrative of Pakistan’s dealings with non-state actors.
Reactions from Nisar came hours after Dawn rejected allegations of "vested interest and false reporting" and the government's restrictions on its journalist.
Dawn came out with a scathing editorial on Wednesday, saying Cyril Almeida's story on the verbal clash between government and military - which has generated a lot of heat in the country - was "duly verified and correct piece of reporting."
Almeida, a columnist for Dawn, was put on Exit Control List - a border control system maintained by Pakistan government which allows it to bar people whose names appear on the list from leaving the country.
He had reported that leading civilian officials had warned the powerful army to renounce its covert support to militants like the Haqqani network, Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba - or face international isolation.