Qureshi Rejects Media Gagging Criticism ‹ Newsweek Pakistan

Qureshi Rejects Media Gagging Criticism

File photograph. Farooq Naeem—AFP

Pakistan’s overseas minister hits again at questions on arrests of journalists, censorship

Overseas Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi mentioned on Thursday there was “no query of gagging” journalists after being challenged about Islamabad’s report at a media freedom convention in London.

Qureshi was questioned concerning the current determination to take three Pakistan tv channels off air, the arrest of journalists and deepening issues about censorship. “Imagine you me, there isn’t a query of gagging or controlling media,” he advised the convention co-hosted by Britain and Canada. “That point has gone and with the brand new social media, the appearance of social media, even if you wish to gag you’ll be able to gag nothing.”

Pakistan routinely ranks among the many world’s most harmful nations for media employees. Reporters have steadily been detained, crushed and even killed for being essential of the federal government or army.

World watchdog Reporters With out Borders this week warned that chopping off AbbTakk TV, 24 Information, and Capital TV was “indicative of disturbing dictatorial tendencies.” They had been briefly taken off air after screening a information convention with opposition chief Maryam Nawaz.

Qureshi mentioned near 89 non-public TV channels had been working in Pakistan. “Three of them had been taken off, I’m advised for 6-Eight hours, and now they’re functioning once more,” he mentioned. He mentioned the channels had “points” with the regulatory physique, including: “These points have been settled.”

Qureshi was additionally requested about an interview with ex-president Asif Ali Zardari, now an opposition chief, which was additionally abruptly taken off air. He mentioned Zardari, who’s at present dealing with corruption fees, was not permitted to be interviewed in the best way he was, “in any other case he can say what he needs to.”

He was additionally requested about Moshin Dawar, a parliamentarian and civil rights chief arrested after being linked to a violent conflict between Pashtun activists and safety forces. Qureshi mentioned Dawar was in a position to make speeches in Parliament however “that doesn’t give him a license to problem the writ of the state and assault a army checkpost and go into areas that are past the realm of a parliamentarian.”

A journalist, Gohar Wazir, was additionally arrested after interviewing Dawar.