fredag 4. juni 2021

Hamid Mir: Imran Khan promised us press freedom in Pakistan. Now journalists are under attack

Once upon a time, Imran Khan and I used to fight for press freedom together in Pakistan. In November 2007, when then military ruler General Pervez Musharraf imposed a state of emergency and banned me from appearing on television, Khan was among the few politicians who stood by me. I took my popular political talkshow on to the streets of Islamabad, where large crowds would come and hear us speak live, and Khan was a regular guest. “When I become prime minister,” he promised, “journalists will have true press freedom.”

Now I have been taken off the air once again, but this time Khan is the prime minister. The ban came immediately after I spoke out at a protest for press freedom in Islamabad. Journalists, lawyers and civil society activists were there to show our solidarity with Asad Ali Toor, a journalist who was attacked last week inside his own home. Three men came in, tied him up, and beat him severely. The attackers, Toor said, identified themselves as being from the Inter-Services Intelligence agency.