US urges Pak not to harass media persons

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Islamabad, Sep 22: Expressing deep concern over the incidents of harassment and attacks on mediapersons in Pakistan, the US has urged the government to ensure that journalists are able to perform their jobs without pressure and fear of reprisal.

US Embassy Acting Deputy Chief of Mission E Candace Putnam and Public Affairs Counsellor Kay Webb Mayfield called on Information and Broadcasting Minister Muhammad Ali Durrani yesterday to express concern over ''recent incidents of Pakistani journalists being subjected to assaults and harassmen'', Daily Times reported, quoting an embassy statement.

According to the statement, Mr Putnam cited the cases of television journalists who were assaulted while covering events at Islamabad airport on September 10, the reported attack on the son of a South Asian News Agency editor on September 14, and the reported abduction and interrogation of a Dawn TV reporter.

The diplomats said Pakistan would be under intense media scrutiny during the upcoming elections and other political events, with large numbers of national and international journalists covering developments in the country.

The statement said they urged the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to work closely with the police and other agencies responsible for maintaining public order to ensure that journalists are able to perform their jobs without pressure and fear of reprisal.


UNI

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