July 21, 2008
Journalists’ Union Urges Pakistan to Resume Broadcasts of Afghan Channels
Text of unattributed report in Dari, "Statement of National Union of Afghan Journalists ", published by private Afghan newspaper Arman- e Melli on 20 July
The National Union of Afghan Journalists strongly condemns the Pakistani government's recent decision to stop broadcasts of Afghan television channels in that country.Reports issued released in Pakistan indicate that the Pakistani government has stopped broadcasts of Afghan television channels in that country for the past one week. Apparently, this step by Pakistan is a reaction to President Karzai's strong remarks about Pakistan's support for terrorist groups fighting the Afghan government as well as the decision to halt political relations between the two countries.
The National Union of Afghan Journalists believes it is every citizen's right to have access to information and the Pakistani government's decision is an explicit violation of freedom of expression. The Pakistani government has promised to prepare the ground for access by its citizens to information in line with agreed principles of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. So, it should allow broadcast sof television channels of members of the association in its territory.
We request the Pakistani government to resume broadcast of the Afghan television channels. In addition, Afghanistan's National Journalists Union calls on civil society and journalists' unions in Pakistan to apply pressure on the Pakistani government to resume broadcast of Afghan television channels in Pakistan.
Abdol Hamid Mobarez, head of Afghanistan's National Journalists Union and press officer of the South Asian Journalists Association in Afghanistan
Originally published by Arman-e Melli, Kabul, in Dari 20 Jul 08.
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