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KARACHI: The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has expressed concern over a notice served by the Press Council of Pakistan on Dawn for what it called violating the Ethical Code of Conduct by publishing an interview of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif about the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

The PFUJ president, Afzal Butt, and its secretary general Ayub Jan Sarhandi urged the authorities not to interfere with the right of media to report fairly, said a press release on Sunday.

In a joint statement, the two PFUJ office-bearers said they were concerned that the newspaper’s circulation had been subjected to seemingly arbitrary curbs.

Read more: Speech limits: Where did censorship originate from?

Meanwhile, international me­­dia watchdog Reporters With­­­out Borders condemned the disruption in distribution of Dawn, adds AFP. RSF said distribution of the country’s leading English-lang­uage newspaper had been res­tricted in much of the country.

“The interview [of Mr Sharif], which reportedly displeased the Pakistani military, appeared in the 12 May issue and the blocking began on 15 May. According to RSF’s information, distribution is being disrupted in most of Balochistan province, in many cities in Sindh province and in all military cantonments,” said a statement.

“The unwarranted blocking of the distribution of one of the main independent newspapers has yet again shown that the military are determined to maintain their grip on access to news and information in Pakistan,” RSF said. “It is clear that the military high command does not want to allow a democratic debate in the months preceding a general election. We call on the authorities to stop interfering in the dissemination of independent media ....”

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2018

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