ANI Photo | Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan blames military for abduction of journalists during his rule

Pakistan’s former Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chief Imran Khan blamed the military for the alleged abduction of journalists during his regime, Dawn reported.
In an interview with the American news-based television channel, MSNBC, Imran Khan said that Pakistan was at the tail end of the war on terror and the army was wary about any criticism from journalists. “So they were responsible for a few guys who were picked up,” he added.
After being compared with the current situation where restrictions are imposed on media and journalists, Khan shrugged off the comparison as a “false equivalence”, and said that no news channel was closed and no journalist was forced to leave the country when he was in power.
He added that the only journalist to be picked up was Matiullah Jan, and he too was recovered the next day when he learnt about the case, according to Dawn.
Dawn is a Pakistani English-language newspaper.
He claimed that “four of the country’s top journalists” left the country while the fifth one, Arshad Sharif, wrote a letter to the Supreme Court chief justice that his life was in danger. “He escaped [but] he was killed in Kenya.”
The PTI Chief also referred to his unannounced blackout from TV news channels, claiming that not even his name could be mentioned.
At this point, the host interjected, saying when he was the prime minister, the name of Pakistan Muslim League-N supremo Nawaz Sharif couldn’t be mentioned on air.
Khan called this comparison baseless, saying that Sharif was convicted by the Supreme Court and “faked illnesses” to leave for England.
“You can’t compare what is happening to me. I’m not convicted but the media couldn’t say my name.”
Currently, Pakistani journalists are witnessing the worst time. After the May 9 protest, the Islamabad police arrested many reporters for “abetting mutiny” and inciting people to attack military installations.
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 damaged in Pakistan. The Pakistan army had called the day a “dark chapter” in the country’s history and vowed to bring to justice all those involved in the vandalism.
Not only the arrests of journalists but censorship of media has also become common in Pakistan. From time to time, the PML-N-led government imposed censorship on the news channels.
Recently, a senior Pakistani journalist Sami Abraham was reportedly ‘abducted’ by unidentified men in Islamabad on May 24, his family claimed, saying that there was no information available regarding his location, reported Dawn.
Pakistan continues to remain “one of the most dangerous countries” for journalists. As per the New Pakistan report, journalists in Pakistan have been killed by militants, insurgents, and “unidentified state actors.”
Abraham was detained by law enforcement. Abraham’s brother Ali Raza has reported a complaint of abduction to the Aabpara Police Station in the federal capital, according to Dawn.

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