Pakistan expels 3 UK Telegraph reporters-State TV

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ISLAMABAD, Nov 10 (Reuters) Pakistan has ordered three journalists from British broadsheet the Daily Telegraph out of the country for using ''foul and abusive'' language about the country's leadership, state television said today.

The expulsions come a week after military ruler President Pervez Musharraf imposed emergency rule, suspended the constitution and slapped a ban on any coverage deemed to humiliate him or his government.

''Three foreign journalists have been given 72 hours to leave the country,'' Deputy Information Minister Tariq Azim Khan said.

''They were using foul and abusive language against Pakistan and Pakistan's leadership.'' He said he did not know which publication the journalists worked for.

State-run Pakistan Television said all worked for the Daily Telegraph.

The move was taken in response to an editorial published in the Daily Telegraph on Nov.9, a senior official at the Information Ministry said, asking not to be named. He gave no details.

The Daily Telegraph's editorial headquarters in London did not immediately comment on the report.

General Musharraf has drawn wide international cricitism for imposing emergency rule and arresting thousands of political opponents and lawyers.

He cited a hostile judiciary and rising militancy as the motive, but critics say he was simply pre-empting a pending Supreme Court ruling on whether he was eligible to run for reelection last month while still serving as army chief.

REUTERS PJ KP2043

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