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Pakistan rejects designation of Prime Minister Khan as press freedom predator




ISLAMABAD (AP) Pakistan on Tuesday vehemently rejected a report by international media watchdogs that lists Prime Minister Imran Khan on a list of the world’s 37 worst press freedom leaders.

The Khans government’s angry backlash came in response to a Monday report titled Predators of Press Freedom Gallery of Old Tyrants, Two Women and a European, published by Paris-based Reporters Without Borders.

According to the group, cases of cheeky censorship have been rife since Khan became prime minister following the 2018 parliamentary elections. He said during Khan’s reign newspaper distribution was cut short, the media was threatened. withdrawal of advertising and the signals of television channels were scrambled. .

Journalists crossing the red lines have been threatened, kidnapped and tortured, the media watchdog said.

Pakistan’s information ministry, in a statement Tuesday, dismissed the allegations, saying the Khan government believes in free speech and independence of the media.

In a statement, the ministry said it was surprising that Reporters Without Borders concluded that Pakistani media are subject to draconian censorship measures by the Khan government. He said the government has taken all possible measures to create a pleasant environment for journalists to fulfill their professional obligations.

It appears that the report released by (Reporters Without Borders) was an attempt to slander the elected representative of the Pakistani people, without any corroborating evidence, the ministry said.

The ministry said it hopes the watchdog will avoid such irresponsible journalism in the future.

Critics say Pakistan has long been a deadly place for journalists. In 2020, it ranked ninth in the Committee to Protect Journalists’ annual global impunity index, which assesses countries where journalists are routinely murdered and their killers are released. Although Pakistan says it supports free speech, human rights activists often accuse the Pakistani military and its agencies of harassing and attacking journalists.




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