The US has said it is watching developments in Pakistan after the attack on Geo TV journalist Hamid Mir as it launched an annual press freedom campaign.
“On the Geo TV blocked question, we’re aware of these reports and also aware of reports that the information ministry has asked PEMRA (regulatory authority ) to restore transmission. We’re continuing to follow events,” US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said.
“We continue to wish Hamid Mir a speedy recovery and to call on the government of Pakistan to bring all those responsible for these attacks on the media to justice,” Psaki said in response to a question.
Pakistan’s defence ministry has filed a complaint with the country’s media regulatory authority seeking cancellation of Geo TV’s license after Mir’s brother accused “certain elements” in the ISI spy agency and its chief of orchestrating the attack, a charge denied by the military.
Media reports said Geo TV has been blocked in military establishments in Pakistan and many cable network operators have pushed it down the queue.
With World Press Freedom Day around the corner on May 3, the State Department launched its third annual ‘Free the Press’ campaign yesterday in New York.
“Beginning on Monday and all of next week, we will highlight emblematic cases of imperiled reporters and media outlets that have been targeted, oppressed, imprisoned or otherwise harassed because of their professional work,” Psaki said.