=> KARACHI, Jan 29: The Human Rights Commission of Pa
KARACHI, Jan 29: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has condemned President Pervez Musharraf’s verbal attack on senior journalist M. Ziauddin and demanded that an unconditional apology be extended to the journalist immediately.
In a statement issued here on Tuesday, HRCP official Iqbal Haider criticized the yet another attack on the freedom of expression and the press, and said that the offensive and abusive language used by Gen (retd) Musharraf, inciting the people to “beat up” the journalist would have the most negative impact on the country internationally, as could be seen that civil society globally had criticized the incident.
He said President Musharraf after taking on the independent judiciary and resorting to attacks on demonstrations by civil society was now trying to extend his attacks to persons who expressed their dissent abroad.
He said that despite government claims about the freedom of the media, the right to free expression was coming under severe attack under the present regime as a growing number of journalists had faced pressure, often from intelligence agencies or military personnel, in an attempt to coerce them into toeing the official line, and several journalists had been murdered or were missing according to reports from the NWFP.
The HRCP asked the government to refrain from attempts to curb media freedom as these would have only a negative impact on the country besides proving that the government’s claims of guaranteeing free expression were nothing but another of the growing litany of lies routinely told to the people.