General says no to media in Pakistan

Published: Monday 31 December 2007

Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, often cites removing the fetters from the country's media as one of his proudest achievements. But under emergency rule his regime is coming down on the media with a heavy hand.

Pakistan's premier Urdu news channel was shut down by the authorities in the third week of November. The channel which broadcasts from Dubai was taken off the air after a two-week standoff in Pakistan during which all major news channels were shut down by cable operators, which are directly controlled by the Pakistani authorities.

Power 99 fm and Mast fm 103, two privately run radio stations, were also ordered off the air, and their equipment seized.

"It seems that the sanctions aimed at bankrupting these independent companies are linked to their refusal to bow to the code of conduct established after the declaration of the state of emergency," the international journalists' organization, Reporters without Borders said.

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