ANI Photo | Journalists covering events in Pakistan should be allowed to do their work: US

US expects that journalists covering events in Pakistan should be permitted to do their work, Department of State official spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a press briefing on Thursday (local time). He stressed that a free and independent press is “vital”.
In response to a question regarding the Pakistan government and military imposing a ban on the media coverage of former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Matthew Miller said, “We generally urge all governments to respect the role of journalists and media. We believe the press performs a critical function in democratic societies.”
“We expect that journalists covering the events in Pakistan should all be allowed to do their work. A free and independent press is a vital, core institution that undergirds healthy democracies by ensuring that electorates can make informed decisions and holding government officials accountable,” he said.
“That last part is near and dear to my heart, as someone who personally comes before you to be held accountable just about every day,” he added.
Matthew Miller also refuted Imran Khan’s allegations against the US, and called all of them “false”.
He further stated that Pakistani politics is a matter for the country’s people to decide, and is not a matter for the US government.
When asked about Imran Khan’s allegations that US policies led to his downfall, Miller said, “I would say that we’ve spoken to this in the past. Those allegations are absolutely false. Pakistani politics are a matter for the Pakistani people to decide, pursuant to their own constitution and laws. They are not a matter for the United States government.”
Meanwhile, two more journalists have been arrested by the Pakistan police on charges of sedition and terrorism related to the May 9 incident, Dawn reported. Anchorpersons Sabir Shakir and Moeed Pirzada were booked in connection with the incident, where an angry mob vandalized property at Melody Chowk.
The complainant stated that the mob received instructions through video messages from Sabir Shakir, Moeed Hassan Pirzada, and Syed Akbar Hussain, the Dawn reported.
In the May 9 incident, the complainant was present at Melody Chowk when an angry mob vandalised property, taking instructions from Sabir Shakir, Moeed Hassan Pirzada and Syed Akbar Hussain through video messages, according to the FIR.
Earlier, journalists Shaheen Sehbai and Wajahat Saeed Khan, YouTuber Adil Raja (a former army officer), and anchorperson Syed Haider Raza Mehdi were also arrested in the same case.
On May 9, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan was arrested at the Islamabad High Court in the Al Qadir Trust case. After his arrest, protests erupted in Pakistan and military installations including the Lahore corps commander’s residence and state properties were attacked in Pakistan.
As per the Dawn report, an FIR registered on Monday, complainant Muhammad Aslam said he was passing by Islamabad’s G-11 locality on May 9 when he witnessed 20-25 people sharing “screenshots of tweets and video messages” of Adil Raja, Wajahat Saeed Khan, Syed Haider Raza Mehdi and Shaheen Sehbai.

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