Imran Khan, PTI and Media War?

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The ruling party of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is under fire for some social media posts linking critical coverage to potential “treason”.

The official account of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party fired off over two dozen tweets in English and Urdu late Tuesday, lambasting the press for coverage criticizing the government and Khan which it deemed “Anti-State”.

“Freedom of Expression is beauty of Democracy. Expressing Enemy’s Stance is Not Freedom of speech but treason against its people,” read one tweet.

Pakistan routinely ranks among the world’s most dangerous countries for media workers, and reporters have frequently been detained, beaten and even killed for being critical of the government or powerful military.

In recent years the space for dissent has shrunk further, with the government announcing a crackdown on social networks and traditional media houses decrying pressure from authorities that they say has resulted in widespread self-censorship.

Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders recently warned of “disturbing dictatorial tendencies” after three Pakistani TV stations were briefly taken off air in what it called “brazen censorship”.

The Committee to Protect Journalist last year warned that the powerful Pakistani military had “quietly, but effectively, set restrictions on reporting”. “Media houses & journalists must take care that in their quest for criticism on State, they intentionally or unintentionally do not end up propagating enemy’s stance,” read another, with the hashtag: #JournalismNotAgenda.

Pakistan routinely ranks among the world’s most dangerous countries for media workers, and reporters have frequently been detained, beaten and even killed for being critical of the government or powerful military.

In recent years the space for dissent has shrunk further, with the government announcing a crackdown on social networks and traditional media houses decrying pressure from authorities that they say has resulted in widespread self-censorship.

Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders recently warned of “disturbing dictatorial tendencies” after three Pakistani TV stations were briefly taken off air in what it called “brazen censorship”.

The Committee to Protect Journalist last year warned that the powerful Pakistani military had “quietly, but effectively, set restrictions on reporting”.

*This article actually appeared in Global Village Space

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