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Travel curbs lifted on Pakistani journalist

Islamabad, Oct 14 (IANS) Pakistani authorities on Friday lifted the travel curbs imposed on a journalist who had revealed alleged differences between the civilian and military leadership vis-a-vis terrorists.

Dawn staff writer Cyril Almeida’s name has been removed from the Exit Control List (ECL), the newspaper reported, quoting the Interior Ministry.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan earlier told the All Pakistan Newspapers Society and the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors that Almeida’s name would be taken off the ECL.

Those on the ECL are not allowed to leave Pakistan.

The minister, however, said the inquiry ordered into the controversial news story would continue “till its logical conclusion”, the Dawn reported.

Almeida’s name was added to the ECL on Monday after he wrote a news report which said that the civilian leadership had told the military to act against terrorists or face international isolation.

The Prime Minister’s Office denied the veracity of the story thrice but Dawn stood by it, saying it was filed only after it “was verified, cross-checked and fact-checked”.

In the wake of the travel ban on Almeida, human rights and journalists’ organisations rallied in his support. Most TV news channels also attacked the government action against the Dawn journalist.

The alleged advice from the civilian leadership to the Pakistani military was given in the wake of heightened India-Pakistan tensions.

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