US warns Pak on press intimidation
The United States has said it would be a "mistake" by the civilian government of Pakistan to follow the footsteps of the previous Musharraf regime to "intimidate" the press in the country.
"We certainly think it would be a mistake for the Pakistani civilian government to follow the press intimidation that was present during its predecessor," state department spokesmanP J Crowley said when asked about the recent developments in Pakistan in this regard.
According to a CNN news report, two TV stations -- Geo TV and ARY stations - were shut down in parts of Sindh province, including Karachi after the news channels' reports angered supporters of the Pakistani President.
Azher Abbas, Geo's managing director, said its signals were blocked at midnight on Saturday after the station broadcast news reports that a pair of shoes had allegedly been hurled at PresidentAsif Ali Zardari during his visit to Birmingham, England, CNN said.
Crowley, however, was quick to take pot shots at the Pakistani press, a section of which has been consistently raising anti-US passion inside Pakistan as was reflected during the Kerry-Lugar Bill, which gives it $7.5 billion in five years.
"We ourselves, who have been to Pakistan, have witnessed and interacted with - among the most vibrant media that exist anywhere in the world. The Pakistani press is very aggressive.
"We always have - take issues with particular stories that may or may not have a basis in fact, but we recognise that the dynamism that we do see in Pakistani society that a vibrant and free press contributes significantly to that," he said.
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