Washington, Jan 18 : Pakistani media have grown more diverse over the years, but continue to face pressures and harassment from its federal government and other authorities, the annual report on state of freedom around the world made by Freedom House, has said.
"Freedom House" is a non-profit, non-partisan organisation, and a clear voice for democracy and freedom around the world. By involving in a vast array of international programs and publications, it is working to advance the remarkable worldwide expansion of political and economic freedom.
The report says that the Pakistani Constitution and other laws authorise the Federal Government to curb freedom of speech on subjects, including the Constitution, the armed forces, the judiciary, and religion, and that harsh blasphemy laws have also been used in past years to suppress the media.
It further said: "On several occasions, Pervez Musharraf and other members of his administration contributed to an atmosphere inimical to free speech by making public threats against or derogatory comments about specific members of the press."
On numerous other occasions, it added, police, security forces, and military intelligence subjected journalists to physical attacks, intimidation, or arbitrary arrest and incommunicado detention. Attacks occurred even on journalists who had gathered to march in support of media freedom on World Press Freedom Day in May," reported the Daily Times.