Friday Apr 30, 2021
WASHINGTON: Media and content restrictions are a threat to the ability to exercise the right to freedom of expression and association in Pakistan, says US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Addressing a virtual roundtable, the US official expressed concern over "significant restrictions" on media outlets and civil society in Pakistan.
He spoke about a "lack of accountability for attacks and disappearances against journalists" as well.
"We’ve documented some of this in our Country Reports on Human Rights practices, and we see media outlets, journalists, their families in Pakistan often subject to threats, harassment at the hands of security forces, political parties, militants, other groups," the US secretary of state said.
Secretary Blinken said that the US regularly raises issues and concerns relating to press freedom with Pakistani authorities in conversations and in meetings.
"Our open and honest engagement with Pakistan enables us, I think, to have an ongoing, sustained dialogue on human rights issues more broadly, and more specifically when it comes to press freedom, the rule of law, religious freedom, even as we collaborate in a number of areas where we have very clear mutual interests," Secretary Blinken said.