LAHORE (P.R) The President of Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), Zia Shahid,
and its Secretary General, Aijazul Haq have demanded that the Government withdraw its
decision of putting the name of Dawn staffer Cyril Almeida on the Exit Control List (ECL).
In a joint statement, they said that CPNE, being the representative organization of the
newspaper editors of Pakistan, is of the view that the Constitution guarantees freedom of
expression. The Prime Minister House and the Chief Minister House Punjab have refuted the
story and the same was published by all newspapers, including Dawn. Despite that, if the
government feels the said story is fabricated, it reserves the right to take legal action. However,
only the competent court of law can decide if the stance of the government or that of the
newspaper is right. Without giving the right to defend, unilateral action against a person or an
organization is contrary to the freedom guaranteed in the Constitution of Pakistan.
National newspapers publish stories with full responsibility and in the light of their
investigation. Only a court of law has the right to judge if a story is correct or wrong. It is
hoped that keeping in view the freedom of press guaranteed in the Constitution, no one-sided
decision will be taken and the supremacy of the Constitution and the law will be respected
which is mandatory for every democratic and independent society.

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