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Musharraf asks UK daily to apologise

world Updated: Nov 11, 2007 23:32 IST
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Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf on Sunday demanded that Britain's Daily Telegraph apologise to him for an article that contained an expletive against him, even as he justified the expulsion of three British journalists who were reporting from Islamabad on the emergency.

"I was shocked...is this how reporters should work? Imagine if Pakistani journalists say the same words about your head of state," he said while addressing the foreign journalists at his press conference in Islamabad.

"I don't know how to react, I don't have words, I don't know what words should I use, but it's really shocking," he said angrily at his first press conference here after the emergency that saw strict curbs on the media.

The Pakistan government Saturday ordered three Daily Telegraph reporters to leave the country within 72 hours because of the "foul and abusive language they have used in their writeup about the state of emergency in Pakistan."

The article was sharply critical of the West's relations with Musharraf, and used a quote from unnamed Pakistani citizen containing an expletive to describe the president.

The Telegraph reporters apparently interviewed some people on the street and reproduced the quote in their report.

The report described Musharraf as "a spent force" and said he had shown a combination of "incompetence and brutality".

"Now if there is anybody who does not have a sense of how to speak and how to write ... I mean, I can't, I don't have words to express, what I can say about it?" Musharraf asked.

After a brief pause he said: "In fact I would say the paper should apologise."

The newspaper said on Saturday it could not immediately comment on the expulsions.