Pakistan has a blacklist of critical US scribes, NGOs | world | Hindustan Times
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Pakistan has a blacklist of critical US scribes, NGOs

Pakistan has blacklisted US media personalities and NGOs perceived to be critical of its national security objectives and policies. The list includes Newsweek magazine’s photojournalist Kate Brooks and news channel CNN’s Pakistan correspondent Riza Sayah. Abhishek Sharan reports.

world Updated: Sep 13, 2009 03:10 IST
Abhishek Sharan

Pakistan has blacklisted US media personalities and NGOs perceived to be critical of its national security objectives and policies.

The list includes Newsweek magazine’s photojournalist Kate Brooks and news channel CNN’s Pakistan correspondent Riza Sayah.

<b1>Punitive measures against them include denying a visa or cancelling an approved one, along with rigorous surveillance of those already in Pakistan.

This fact came to light from a letter Pakistan Ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani wrote on July 28 to top officials including Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and Inter-Services Intelligence Director-General Ahmad Shuja Pasha.

In his letter, a copy of which was accessed by HT, Haqqani asked the Pakistani authorities to share with his embassy the “black list” and enquired if it “contains reasons for putting a certain individual or organisation on it”.

Haqqani in his letter said: “The mission sometimes receives instructions from Islamabad to deny visas to US nationals working for important media and non-government organisations … the mission was (once) instructed to cancel an already issued visa.”

He added, “In the case of Kate Brooks we were informed that her visa should be revoked because she was on the black list … the embassy has not seen this list.