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Crackdown On the Press: General Musharraf Shuts Down Two of Pakistan's Biggest Private Television News Channels
by via Democracy Now
Monday Nov 19th, 2007 7:34 AM
Monday, November 19, 2007 : Mazhar Abbas, the deputy director of one of the stations ARY One World television, joins us in New York He is also the Secretary-General of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists. He has been a well-known champion of press freedom over the past 27 years.
The first high-level visit of a US official to Pakistan since General Musharraf declared emergency in early November took place Saturday. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte urged the General to lift emergency rule and welcomed his announcement that he would hold elections in January. But Musharraf refused to say when he would lift the state of emergency.

Negroponte also emphasized the importance of quote "reconciliation between the moderate political forces." This is an excerpt of Negroponte addressing a press conference at the US embassy in Islamabad on Saturday.

  • John Negroponte
Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte. Opposition leader and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was released from house arrest in advance of Negroponte's visit to Pakistan. As she left her home in Lahore on Saturday, she told reporters at the airport that she would continue her political struggle.
  • Benazir Bhutto
Former Prime Minister Bhutto's statements came in the wake of a controversial decision by General Musharraf to shut down two of Pakistan's biggest private television news channels. GEO TV and ARY One World television were ordered Friday to halt transmissions from their base in the United Arab Emirates. The continuing clampdown on the media has met with widespread protests.

Mazhar Abbas is the Deputy Director of ARY One World television. He is also the Secretary-General of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists. He is a leading opponent of Musharraf's attempts to silence the press and has been a well-known champion of press freedom over the past 27 years. Abbas will be honored by the New-York based Committee to Protect Journalists Tuesday.

Pakistani journalist Mazhar Abbas joins me now in the firehouse studio in New York.

  • Mazhar Abbas, Deputy Director of ARY One World Television that has just been shut down by General Musharraf. He is also the head of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and will be honored by the New York based Committee to Protect Journalists Tuesday.

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