Watch: Pakistan journalist asks US official on BBC surveys in India. His reply | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Watch: Pakistan journalist asks US official on BBC surveys in India. His reply

BySnehashish Roy
Feb 16, 2023 10:14 AM IST

Pakistani news organisation ARY News Jahanzaib Ali's asked spokesperson Ned Price on ‘raiding’ the BBC offices.

The United States redirected a Pakistani journalist to ‘refer the Government of India’ for information on the ‘search’ that the income tax department conducted in the BBC office in Delhi and its studio in Mumbai. The US state department spokesperson reiterated his statement while responding to a Pakistani journalist and said that the US ‘supports the importance of free press around the world’.

US State department spokesperson Ned Price.(REUTERS)
US State department spokesperson Ned Price.(REUTERS)

Also read: ‘Not in a position…’: US on I-T surveys at BBC offices in Delhi, Mumbai

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“We are aware of the search at the BBC offices in Delhi…We continue to highlight the importance of freedom of expression, freedom of religion or belief. As human rights, that contribute to the strengthening of democracy here in this country, in India and in our fellow democracies around the world,” Spokesperson Ned Price said.

The US official was responding to Washington DC correspondent of Pakistani news organisation ARY News Jahanzaib Ali's question on ‘raiding’ the BBC offices. Price was reiterating his earlier statement where he said that the US is not in a position to ‘offer a judgement’.

The I-T department carried out a survey operation at BBC offices to investigate an alleged tax evasion case. The government officials alleged that BBC was ‘defiant and non-compliant’ even after being served notices in the past.

Also read: I-T ‘survey’ at BBC offices sparks row

The BBC said the organisation is ‘fully cooperating’ with the officials. Given the timing of the survey after the central government dismissed the BBC documentary on 2002 Gujarat riots as ‘propaganda’, the opposition leaders criticised the move and said it will be seen as a ‘petty retaliation' worldwide.

“No institution is above the law, but the raids by 20 tax officials on the @BBC's Delhi & Mumbai offices &studios are a deplorable own-goal. They will be seen worldwide as petty retaliation for the BBC documentary & as confirmation of the BJP Govt's drive to stifle press freedom,” Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said in tweet earlier.

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