Pakistani journalist Cyril Almeida ‘barred from leaving country’

A top Pakistani journalist says he has been barred from leaving the country, after he reported a row between military and government officials.

Cyril Almeida said on twitter he had been told his name was on the “exit control list”, a border control system.

The row erupted over an article saying the government bluntly warned military chiefs Pakistan faced isolation unless it acted against homegrown militancy.

The government rejected the report, calling it “a fabricated news story”.

Relations between Pakistan’s civilian government and the military have often been tumultuous with three coups since independence. Nawaz Sharif’s government took office after Pakistan’s first ever civilian transfer of power.

But the timing is sensitive because it comes just weeks after India blamed Pakistan-based militant groups for an attack that killed 18 soldiers in Indian Occupied Kashmir, the deadliest assault on the army there in years. Pakistan has consistently denied any links to the attack.

India has long accused Pakistan’s ISI spy agency of secretly supporting jihadi groups such as the Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba saying they wage attacks against India, particularly over Kashmir – which is claimed by both countries.

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