Cyril Almeida barred from leaving Pakistan over his report

Almeida's story described a behind-closed-doors discussion in which civilian leaders allegedly warned the head of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, Rizwan Akhtar, that Pakistan was facing worldwide isolation over its stance on terrorism.

The government has repeatedly denied the story and announced on Monday that the matter had been discussed in a meeting with Sharif, Akhtar and the army chief, Gen Raheel Sharif.

Here's the rub: Almeida's sources, though unidentified, were officials that sat in on the meeting, and were probably from the government itself. Dawn stood by the story and said the report was "verified, cross-checked and fact-checked".

Meanwhile, Almeida's tweet has been among the top trends in Pakistan and he has received support from several senior journalists.

Almeida said on Twitter that he had been told his name was on the "exit control list", a border control system.

"Since the government would counsel us, the press, on how to do our job, we would like to offer some advice for them, on how to better do theirs".

"It was irresponsible of the reporter to file a story of this kind", said the minister, adding: "It's a preventive measure and it is a transparent enquiry". The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan stressed that the ban will cause distress to all those, at home and overseas, who believe in the freedom of expression. There are certain things that I will never, ever forgive.

At least 59 journalists have been killed in targeted attacks since 1992, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

India has sought to diplomatically isolate Pakistan after the terror attack in Kashmir's Uri, in which 19 soldiers were killed.

Many in Pakistani civil society, including noted Pakistani journalist Najam Sethi, criticized the Sharif government for clamping down on the media.

Cyril Almeida, the journalist in question, was informed on Monday that his name had been included in the so-called Exit Control List (ECL). The order issued by the Pakistan government basically ensures that the journalist from Pakistan's reputed English language daily, The DAWN, is unable to leave Pakistan for any goal without the consent of the Pakistani government and the military. He asserted, however, that the significance of Almeida's report lay in how forcefully he had "disrupted the national conversation" by placing the issue of tensions between civilian government and military into the public arena.

"The Dawn is one of the most respected Pakistani papers internationally, there is no reason to doubt its veracity", he said.

Human rights activists urged the government immediately to lift the travel and other restrictions on Almeida.

The government issued two denials of the Dawn story.

"The elected government and state institutions should refrain from targeting the messenger, and scapegoating the country's most respected newspaper in a malicious campaign", the statement said.

In the latest statement on October 10, the Prime Minister's office threatened "stern action" for the publication of the news report, alleging that it "risked vital state interests".