Siddique Sajid, editor of Pakistan's Online news agency, has been sacked after it published a fake WikiLeaks-based report that New Delhi allegedly played a role in destabilising the country's Balochistan province.
Online editor-in-chief Mohsin J. Baig had ordered an enquiry into the fake WikiLeaks story. The decision to sack Mr. Sajid was taken after it was established in the enquiry that he had “solely misused” his editorial authority in the absence of the news agency's Editor-in-Chief by “fabricating a false story on a highly sensitive subject such as the WikiLeaks disclosure”, Online said on its website.
It regretted the release of the story, its subsequent publication by media, and “the consequent erosion of its public credibility”.
The Online story had mentioned India's role in allegedly destabilising Pakistan's tribal areas and Balochistan province and attributed these statements to then U.S. ambassador to India, citing WikiLeaks. Online had claimed Saturday that “the said story was lifted from the Daily Mail newspaper published from Islamabad”. “The newspaper is believed to be close to the intelligence agencies,” Online said.