South Asia Media Commission, a regional media watchdog, has deplored the “scuttling of freedom of information and expression” by the military government in Pakistan. It has demanded withdrawal of restrictions to restore freedom of the press.
In a statement issued on behalf of the panel’s chairman N. Ram (India) and secretary-general Najam Sethi (Pakistan) by its South Asia coordinator, Husain Naqi, the panel said that Pakistan’s media is in danger of losing any possibility of disseminating independent news as a result of the offensive.
“We call on the Pakistani authorities to stop intimidating the media, allow independent news channels’ broadcast and to revoke the two media ordinances proclaimed by General Pervez Musharraf while declaring the state of emergency,” they said.
The statement also condemned the surveillance of 21 national dailies and 13 leading regional papers.