Dawn newspaper editor Zaffar Abbas has said that journalist Cyril Almeida has taken a short break from Dawn, that’s the reason that his weekly column didn’t appear in Dawn editorial on Sunday.
“I know both his friends and foes are surprised. It’s just a temporary break on his own request and a well-deserved one. Nothing more. He’s around, and will be back soon,” Abbas responded to a query by Mohammed Hanif on Twitter.
Hanif had earlier tweeted: “no Cyril column in today’s Dawn and I can’t remember the last time he was given a Sunday off. Hope this is a well-deserved break and nothing to do with the ridiculous treason case against him. hope to see him back next Sunday.”
In response to his tweet, Abbas said: “Cyril has taken a short break. Like all of us, he too has a right to a break. He will be back with his column soon.”
On September 24, the Lahore High Court (LHC) issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for Almeida, and his name placed on the exit control list (ECL) in a treason case filed by civil society member Amina Malik.
Amina is seeking action against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif under treason charges for allegedly defaming state institutions through an interview he gave to Almeida.
The interview was published in Dawn on May 12 this year and caused quite a stir after Sharif said: “Militant organizations are active. Call them non-state actors, should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai? Explain it to me. Why can’t we complete the trial?”
Almeida has to appear in the Lahore high Court court on October 8.