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Pakistan ill-treating scribes of Indian descent: Report

Pakistan ill-treating scribes of Indian descent: Report

Publication: Rediff on Net, US Edition
Date: December 10, 2001

The Washington Post on Monday hit out at Pakistan for expelling its correspondent Rajiv Chandrasekaran, saying the treatment meted out to journalists of Indian descent raised doubts over the country's commitment to press freedom.

The Post's Assistant Managing Editor for foreign news, Philip Bennett, termed Pakistan's action as "unexplained and unjustified".

In a report "Washington Post correspondent Rajiv Chandrasekaran was kicked out of Pakistan Friday," the daily said it was "not because of anything he had written. The Pakistanis delayed renewing his visa and then, when it expired, expelled him with a letter citing 'security implications'".

"The expulsion came after security officers seized Chandrasekaran in a Quetta hotel room and placed him in a guest house."

Noting that Chandrasekaran was born in the United States but that his parents were from India, Bennett said: "When journalists of Indian descent are singled out for this treatment, it raises a question about Pakistan's commitment to press freedom."

Pakistan Embassy spokesman Asad Hayauddin, the paper said, denied any ethnic motivation, saying: "It is purely a case of an expired visa."

It may be recalled that Aditya Sinha, a British passport holder working for a national Indian daily, was also expelled by Pakistan recently.


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