IB threatens, insults journalist working for The News -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

IB threatens, insults journalist working for The News

LAHORE: A senior editor of The News was insulted and threatened by an official of the Intelligence Bureau in Lahore for participation in a discussion on the Indo-Pak relations held at a Lahore hotel on Feb 27.

The IB official first “intercepted” the journalist in the parking lot of the hotel and asked him whom he had gone to meet and why. When he was told about the discussion meeting and the identity of the journalist, Editor Investigations, The News, Lahore, MAK Lodhi, he left.

But on March 2 he telephoned Lodhi and again wanted to ask details of the meeting and this time threatened and abused the journalist. “You are inviting trouble,” the journalist was told.

Meanwhile, the South Asia Media Commission (SAMC) has condemned the threats and intimidation of the senior journalist and has demanded a high-level inquiry and apology from the spy agency for infringing upon the media rights.

MAK Lodhi said as he was walking to the parking lot of the hotel after the meeting when an official, who introduced himself as an official in the Intelligence Bureau (IB), stopped him and inquired who he was and why he had come to see GV Srinivas, the Counsellor (Political) of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

Lodhi politely introduced himself, gave the official his visiting card and told him that it was just a professional interaction and there was nothing to divulge beyond what had been appearing in media reports.

The official noted that MAK Lodhi’s car number and left. The matter seemed to end there.

He said on March 2, the official called him on his mobile number from an unidentified number, introduced himself as an IB agent and asked for details of the meeting with the Indians.

On refusal, the official told him that he was inviting trouble. The official started threatening him. When he protested, the official abused and insulted him.

In a statement, Najam Sethi, Secretary-General, SAMC, and Hussain Naqi, Regional Coordinator, SAMC, strongly condemned this act.

“The media will resist such threats. The IB should restrain its agents from harassing us. It brings a bad name to the government,” they said.
Source: The News
Date:3/7/2010