Journalists working in Pakistan should be allowed to do their work freely, the US State Departments said on Thursday, amid arrests of journalist seen favoring former premier Imran Khan.
“I would say that we generally urge all governments to respect the role of journalists and media,” US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told a press briefing in Washington.
The department’s spokesperson noted that the press performs a critical function in democratic societies.
“We expect that journalists covering the events in Pakistan should all be allowed to do their work,” Miller said.
“A free and independent press is a vital, core institution that undergirds healthy democracies by ensuring that electorates can make informed decisions and holding government officials accountable.”
The development comes as cases have been registered against several journalists and anchorpersons for their alleged involvement in May 9 riots.
Imran Khan’s false allegations
In response to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s allegations against the United States, the department reiterated its rejection.
“I would say that we’ve spoken [about] this in the past. Those allegations are absolutely false,” the State Department spokesperson noted.
“Pakistani politics are a matter for the Pakistani people to decide, pursuant to their own constitution and laws.”
“They are not a matter for the United States Government,” he added.
In March 2022, Imran Khan claimed that the US was plotting to oust him and continued with the tirade even after being voted out of office.
But the tirade ended when he later blamed former army chief General (retired) Qamar Javed Bajwa for his removal from office.