=> WASHINGTON: The Committee to Protect Journalists (
WASHINGTON: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), which is based in New York, said on Monday that President Pervez Musharraf’s remarks at a London conference in response to a question asked by a Pakistani journalist were “a chilling indicator of the Musharraf government’s real attitude towards the Pakistani media”.
Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia programme coordinator, said in a statement, “Despite publicly claiming that he supports free expression, Musharraf has closed down television stations, silenced critics, and has apparently resorted to threatening them as well.”
Earlier, the CPJ had been asked by a group of Pakistani journalists working out of the United States to take note of the “serious threatÂ” made by President Musharraf to a journalist at a London public event.
The letter to the CPJ by the group’s convener, Masood Haider, was referring to an exchange between Mr Ziauddin of Dawn and the president, who, regarding Ziauddin’s question on Rashid Rauf’s escape from police custody as unpatriotic, had asked his audience to hold “such people” to account. He said it would be perfectly in order if such people were given a bit of a thrashing.
Haider claimed that Musharraf was essentially urging his supporters to beat up any journalist who speaks the truth or puts forward difficult questions.
Source: Daily Times