Hoax memo

Addressing the parliament, PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi clarified the intelligence bureau (IB) memo about the link between parliamentarians and proscribed organizations being fake. He said that investigations have been initiated in this matter. The memo shown on the private television channel stated that the ex PM Nawaz Sharif had directed the IB to monitor the activities of 37 legislatures due to their alleged links with terrorists and sectarian outfits. After the circulation of this memo the IB released the statement the very next day which described the document as being forged one.  But even then its repercussion was echoed in the parliament and the federal minster for inter-provincial coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada had to walk out from the National Assembly (NA) along with other MP’s of the ruling PML (N) party.

The minister for inter-provincial coordination does not seem to be satisfied with the probe orders in this matter. While talking to private TV channel he admitted that the letter of IB was not counterfeit and the PML (N) would not bring motion in the NA against any media house, he emphasized that media has every right to criticize a politician and that does not bother me. But the letter was written by the government institute and it needs proper elucidation.

The IB attempted a timely damage control after the circulation of the so called hoax letter but a heated exchange of words between a government official and a renowned anchor of news TV channel in the premises of PEMRA made this exercise counterproductive. The PM has also revealed that PEMRA and IB are jointly investigating the matter and the members who are on the listed have also been asked to file a complaint with PEMRA regarding this incident. He said the people deserve to know the truth.

A thorough probe of the matter is inevitable because the memo has not only damaged the reputation of important federal ministers and honorable member of the ruling party but it has also tarnished the soft image of the country. Hopefully, the truth will come out. However, the government should not take a punitive action against the news channel which aired a current affairs program on this memo.