Pakistan should not threaten journalists based abroad, Reporters Without Borders

Reporters Without Borders, an organization working for independent journalism and the rights of journalists, has warned Pakistani authorities not to threaten journalists abroad.

Pukhtun Nama Desk News

The group said an unwritten memo from Pakistani government officials calling for six foreign-based journalists to be banned from speaking out against Pakistan was shocking.

The group said that without verifying the letter, it would be up to the Pakistani authorities if anything happened to the journalists or their families.

According to Reporters Without Borders, the June 18 letter from Pakistan’s interior ministry named six journalists, including five Pakistanis and one Afghan, accused of being in Europe and the United States. They are tainted with efforts that harm Pakistan’s interests.

The letter alleges that the journalists were involved in anti-Pakistan activities and in publishing anti-Pakistan material in foreign media under a pseudonym.

They and their social media accounts have been closely monitored and may be formally contacted in the future to stop speaking out against Pakistan.

The letter was written by the head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Islamabad, the head of the Army’s Spokesman’s Office (ISPR), the prime minister’s special deputy for information and broadcasting, the military’s intelligence agency (MI) and foreign intelligence agencies. Sent to Ministry of Affairs.

The organization added that the letter may not have been written by the interior ministry, but was addressed to the heads of the five agencies, and it was not clear who wrote it or what its purpose was.

The organization said that since the beginning of this year, Pakistani journalists have been targeted in foreign countries, including the death of Sajid Hussain, editor of the Swedish-based Balochistan Times website, seven months after his disappearance. He was found dead.

The group said Swedish police had not ruled out the possibility that he was working as a journalist, but that Hussein’s website would be linked to drug trafficking and human rights abuses in Balochistan. In addition to the violent disappearances, there have been reports that he may have been targeted in connection with sensitive issues.

The group had received secret information from the ISI in Pakistan in late 2019 that it had listed Pakistani opponents who had sought refuge outside the country.

The Pakistani government has not yet commented on the statement.