As the President of the United States suffers the indignity of being lectured to by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over drone strikes in Pakistan, Reporters Without Borders is reporting that Pakistan has some problems of their own with regard to press freedom.
A group that supports the outlawed coalition Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TPP) has claimed responsibility for issuing a “fatwa” against journalists in Pakistan, naming specific outlets and journalists and calling for “actions” against them.
The fatwa designated Dewa Radio, Mishal Radio, Azadi Radio, Radio Aap ki Dunya, and the BBC as targets and included the photos of two nationally-known journalists – Hamid Mir, host of the programme “Capital Talk” on the TV channel Geo News, and Hasan Nisar, a Geo News reporter and commentator.
In a press release, Reporters Without Borders said, “We urge the authorities to reinforce protection for the media and journalists named in the fatwa and to ensure that those responsible for this threat are no longer able to do any harm.”
It would have been nice if President Obama had worked on behalf of press freedom and raised the issue in his discussions with Prime Minister Sharif Wednesday at the White House, but considering the administration’s own questionable record regarding press freedom, Obama’s advisors probably suggested he not bring it up.