Freedom House, an international organisation advocating political and economic freedom, has downgraded Pakistan in its annual Press Freedom survey. Thanks to our valiant Commando-in-Chief and his men our country is now rated as a place where the Press is ‘Not Free’.
According to this organisation, this downgrading is based on:
‘aggressive measures taken over the last two years by military authorities to silence critical or investigative voices in the media. A number of journalists have been pressured to resign from prominent publications, charged with sedition, or arrested and intimidated by intelligence officials while in custody.’
This harsh indictment is corroborated by a report recently issued last week by our very own Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) which exposes:
‘government claims of press freedom, adding that in Lahore and Karachi, police created obstacles in independent coverage of the arrival of Asif Ali Zardari. The police baton charged and detained reporters and removed films from their cameras.’
The PFUJ report further informs us that:
'the government stopped news reports from Wana, Gilgit, Sui and Khuzdar and forced reporters to report the ‘official version’ only ...'
So our journalists are advising us indirectly not to believe a word they write on Wana, Gilgit and Balochistan (as, according to them, it is nothing but a load of government orchestrated bull).
Should we be surprised? Not really.