Media must be free, says US Consul General

November 22nd, 2007 - 2:07 pm ICT by admin  

Karachi, Nov 22 (ANI): The media must have the freedom to report events, criticise the government and share opinions with the public, said US Consul General Kay Anske.
Anske, during her visit to the Karachi Press Club (KPC) and the ARY Television Network offices, expressed the US Government’s “grave concern” over the orders of the Pakistan Government to suppress media and arrest journalists.
She urged Islamabad to immediately lift restrictions imposed on the media and permit broadcasters to resume their programming.
Echoing US Ambassador in Pakistan, N W Patterson, Anske said such measures are economically punitive for the affected news organisations.
“Such extreme and unreasonable measures are clearly not in Pakistan’s best interests and contradict the progress the country has made towards becoming a fully democratic society,” Daily Times quoted Anske, as saying.
“We don’t think that such measures are compatible with the kind of environment that is needed for free and fair elections,” she added.
Observing that one of the President Pervez Musharraf’s greatest achievements was the blooming of a free and vibrant media, Anske said: “There is no way to put this genie back in the bottle by cutting off the media now.”
It was the citizens’ right to decide, who they wanted to vote for, she added.
Karachi Press Club President Sabihuddin Ghousi appreciated the Consul General’s visit and concern, but also recalled that in the last 20 years of its policy, the US had supported the “military and the mullahs”.
It had supported General Zia-ul-Haq and was now supporting General Musharraf, Ghousi said. (ANI)

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