Jour­nal­ist barred from trav­el­ling

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

ISLAMABAD (AP): A PAK­ISTANI jour­nal­ist says he has been barred from leav­ing the coun­try after his news­pa­per pub­lished an ar­ti­cle of his con­tend­ing there was a rift be­tween the govern­ment and mil­i­tary lead­ers over fight­ing Is­lamic mil­i­tants.

Cyril Almeida tweeted late Monday that his name has been added to the govern­ment’s “exit con­trol list”, adding that he has no im­me­di­ate plans to travel. Pak­istani of­fi­cials could not be reached for com­ment.

The Dawn pub­lished Almeida’s ar­ti­cle on its front page last week. The govern­ment has since is­sued three state­ments deny­ing any such rift, in­clud­ing on Monday, when it vowed “stern ac­tion” against those re­spon­si­ble for the story, which it says “risked vi­tal state in­ter­ests”. The news­pa­per has stood by the story.

Civil-mil­i­tary re­la­tions are a taboo sub­ject in Pak­istan, which has a long history of mil­i­tary coups.

Amnesty In­ter­na­tional called on the govern­ment to lift all re­stric­tions on Almeida and said re­porters in Pak­istan should be able to work freely and without fear of ret­ri­bu­tion. It said the travel ban is “a crude in­tim­i­da­tion tac­tic de­signed to si­lence jour­nal­ists”.

Pak­istan’s in­de­pen­dent Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion said me­dia have the right to cover civil-mil­i­tary re­la­tions. It said any ob­jec­tions to the ar­ti­cle should be pur­sued through le­gal av­enues.

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