Pakistani information minister resigns over media ban (Second lead)

March 14th, 2009 - 3:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, March 14 (IANS) Pakistan’s Information Minister Sherry Rahman has resigned from the cabinet following differences with the top leadership over the government’s media policy, Geo TV reported Saturday.
Rahman, a close associate of slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, put in her papers Friday night during a high-level meeting chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari, the report said, quoting sources.

She offered her resignation after differences emerged on the issue of handling the media in the context of the ongoing political crisis during the meeting, which was also attended by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Interior Minister Rehman Malik.

However, there was no word from the government on this.

On Friday, the government blocked the telecast of Geo TV and Aaj TV channels in several Pakistani cities over their coverage of lawyers’ movement and the ongoing tussle with the opposition parties.

Rehman, who had earlier threatened to resign if any curbs are imposed on the media, appealed to Zardari to lift the ban and put in her papers when failed to convince him, sources told Geo TV.

The information minister also alleged that she and the prime minister were bypassed on the matter as the media ban order was directly issued from the President House.

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