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July 27, 2012

Commission says The News report was not conjectural

 
July 27, 2012

ISLAMABAD: The high-level judicial commission headed by respected CJ BHC Justice Qazi Faez Isa, which probed the CJ LHC alleged murder conspiracy case, had absolved The News from all negative propaganda by its contemporaries and certain PPP leaders by concluding that this newspaper’s report on the matter was not conjectural or false.
In its report filed in December 2010, which is now under the focus of the federal government, the commission instead praised The Editor Investigations of The News by observing, “Mr Abbasi also prudently avoided mentioning the names of the persons who were said to be involved in the alleged plot to assassinate Khawaja Muhammad Sharif, the then Hon’ble Chief Justice of Lahore High Court.”
Upset with The News, some PPP leaders and certain media sections criticised this newspaper for filing a report which was allegedly baseless. The commission, however, made it clear that The News report was not baseless; rather some officials of the Punjab Special Branch had prepared a baseless report and even submitted it to the chief minister Punjab.
The terms of reference of the commission included the question “Was Mr Abbasi’s story, published in The News, based on the Report?”
Responding to this question, the commission said, “Mr Abbasi appeared before the commission and stated that he had received information from his source which formed the basis of his story. This information was received by him via email as an attachment on 10th September 2010, a day before the date of publication of his story in The News. He said that he believed his source, as he had known him for over 10 years and had always found him to be a reliable source. Mr Abbasi did not disclose his source but Secretary Shah (Dr Tauqir Shah) admitted sending the said attachment to Mr Abbasi. The commission also received a computer compact disk through the post, which stated to be a recording of the conversation that took place between Mr Abbasi and

Secretary Shah, we have no doubt that the voices on the said disk were those of Mr Abbasi and Secretary Shah and confirm what was narrated by the said two witnesses. Therefore, there remains no doubt in our minds that Secretary Shah was the person who provided the information to Mr Abbasi, which formed the basis of his news report (reproduced in the report). Mr Abbasi’s news report was therefore not conjectural or false. Mr Abbasi also prudently avoided mentioning the names of the persons who were said to be involved in the alleged plot to assassinate Khawaja Muhammad Sharif, the then Hon’ble Chief Justice of Lahore High Court.”

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