Summary On 6 November 1999, Sardar Ashiq Hussain editor of Kashmir Press International (KPI) was kidnapped from his office at Rawalakot, Azad Jamu and Kashmir (AJK). He was released twenty-six hours later. According to the editor, the kidnappers were Nauman Ashraf, son of the AJK revenue minister, Shaid Sarwar, his public relations officer, and Suhail Rafiq, Muhammad Abshar and Muhammad Zarin, officials of the People's Students Federation, the student wing of the Pakistan People's Party. The KPI news editor told RSF's correspondent: "They asked me to have published a six-column news story in favour of the minister before I could be released. They told me that I had been kidnapped with the knowledge of the local administration, and therefore it would come to my rescue." Sardar Abid Hussain, the chairman of the state government's Pearl Development Authority, arrived with a former state adviser on 7 November at the temple where the editor was being held and held talks with the kidnappers which resulted in the editor's release. Sardar Ashiq Hussain met the local deputy commissioner on 8 November, but no arrest was made. He added: "The state police took the accused under their protection to the local sessions court on 8 November, which granted them bail. They are roaming around in the same vehicle used in my kidnapping. Then, the minister's son warned me in a phone call of dire consequences if I travel to Rawalakot, my native town, to pursue the case. I cannot visit my parents and other relatives anymore." He met the Pakistani minister for Kashmir Affairs, Abbas Sarfraz, who told him: "We cannot interfere in this case because it will become a political issue. It may provide our rivals with an opportunity to claim that we are interfering in AJK government affairs." On 23 November, the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists threatened that its journalists would begin a hunger strike if the AJK premier did not take any action against the minister.
Summary Police in the city of Bahawalpur in the Punjab province arrested Ahmed Nawaz Abbasi, correspondent for the Urdu daily "Nawa-i-Waqt", early on the morning of Thursday 4 May 2001. He was arrested for providing the French news agency Agence France Press (AFP) a photograph of the corpse of a man who had died due to the drought in the Cholistan desert. The officials alleged that the photographer had provided an old photograph to AFP. The photograph was published prominently in almost all the leading national newspapers. Police officials raided Abbasi's house on Wednesday time and again, but did not find him there. They harassed his elderly mother and later raided his friend's house where they arrested him. The action was taken following a complaint by the Cholistan Development authority. For further information, contact Owais Aslam Ali at PPF, Press Centre, Shahrah Kamal Ataturk, Karachi, Pakistan, tel: +92 21 263 1123, fax: +92 21 263 7754, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Internet: http://www.oneworld.org/ppf
Summary Authorities forbade, sealed and took away the publishing licence of regional daily "Mohasib". This decision follows the publication, on 29 May, of an article titled "The Beard and Islam". he same day, police arrested Chaudry, according to Articles 295 A and C of the Law on blasphemy.
Summary Muzaffar Ejaz, editor of the Karachi-based Urdu-language daily "Jasarat", was picked up by intelligence agency officers as he left his office on 25 July 2002, at approximately 11:00 p.m. (local time). He was interrogated and released at 4:00 a.m. the following morning. According to press reports, the editorâ™s abduction was the culmination of a week of harassment that followed the publication of a controversial story in his newspaper. Ejaz complained of threats to his life and harassment by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and other agencies in their bid to intimidate him. Prior to his abduction, the editor had written a letter to the president of the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), stating that on 16 July he had received a phone call at his office from a person who identified himself as Colonel Amjad of the ISI, requesting a meeting with him. On 17 July, Ejaz met with another ISI officer, Colonel Zaki. The officer wanted to discuss a story published in his newspaper which reported that ISI Colonel Ehtesham Zamir had been relieved of the responsibility of uniting the various Muslim League factions. Colonel Zaki wanted to know the name of the reporter, the source of the news and the objectives of those who had provided the news. Ejaz offered to publish a retraction, but this was unacceptable to Colonel Zaki. When the editor refused to provide the desired information, Colonel Zaki warned him that he knew of "many other ways to find out." He advised Ejaz to return to his office and provide him with the requested information after consulting with his colleagues. As soon as the editor reached his office, he received a phone call from an unidentified person who wanted to know if he had reached the office "safely," and was again asked for the reporterâ™s name. Ejaz told the anonymous caller that he had consulted his editor-in-chief, who had advised him not to yield to the demand. The caller got angry and insisted that he be given the name of the reporter by the next day. The newspaper also received a refutation of the offending story from the official Press Information Department, which was published in the newspaper. Colonel Zaki called Ejaz again on 19 July and insisted that he name the reporter who wrote the offending story. He was told that it was impossible, and the newspaper lodged a complaint to protest the fact that the editor was given a false pretext for meeting with the colonel. Ejaz was subsequently followed by persons on motorcycles on 21 July. Journalists recognised them as being members of intelligence agencies. On 24 July, Colonel Amjad called Ejaz, denying that those who were following him were his men. Colonel Amjad wanted to clarify his position since kidnappings and murders are common in Karachi, and he did not want his men to be blamed if "anything happened."