=> LONDON: The British media has criticised President | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

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=> LONDON: The British media has criticised President

LONDON: The British media has criticised President Pervez Musharraf for terming a senior Pakistani journalist, M. Ziauddin as anti Pakistan and unpatriotic.

The visit of the president to Britain seems to have been overshadowed by the event as not only human rights activists of Britain, but international media has taken a serious note of the use of language against the senoir journalist.

Local students leaders in Britain have also threatened to move the British justice system by accusing the Pakistani president of inciting the Pakistani community to violence when he told the gathering that such anti Pakistani elements like (Ziauddin) “must be dealt” with for asking such a question.

David Blair, the diplomatic editor of Daily Telegraph wondered how could Musharraf do all this to a journalist who had put a very reasonable question. In his piece David Blair said whatever you might think of President Pervez Musharraf, you have to admit he’s a good performer. “Whenever I have seen him deliver a speech or stage a press conference, I have been struck by his self confidence and easy, jocular manner. But very occasionally, the mask slips. I have just come from the RUSI on Whitehall, where Musharraf was speaking earlier this afternoon. For almost the entire occasion, he was his usual charming self”.

He wrote that then a Pakistani journalist, Mohammed Ziauddin, asked a perfectly reasonable question about how a prominent suspected terrorist, Rashid Rauf, had somehow escaped the custody of Musharraf’s security forces. As soon as Ziauddin, the Islamabad editor of Dawn, a Pakistani daily, rose to ask his question, Musharraf visibly bristled. Instantly, his demeanour changed from being relaxed and confident to tense and hostile.

He wrote that Musharraf promptly accused Ziauddin of “casting aspersions” and “undermining our forces and your own country”. In a brief but furious tirade, he questioned Ziauddin’s patriotism and professionalism.

“This response to an entirely reasonable query spoke volumes about Musharraf. He will question the patriotism of any Pakistani critic – betraying his essential intolerance of dissent”, he writes.

Meanwhile the PPP has condemned the president’s remarks terming them as “most unfortunate, insolent and unbecoming of a head of state.” In a statement, PPP spokesman Farhatullah Babar Sunday said by losing temper over a question Musharraf not only gave a very poor impression but also showed he had little respect for the people with independent-mind.
Source: The News