|Expelled journalists heading home|
Sunday November 11, 2007 10:48 AM
Three British journalists ordered to leave Pakistan over a "derogatory" report on the country's government are returning to the UK.
Isambard Wilkinson, Colin Freeman and Damien McElroy - who work for the Telegraph Group - were given 72 hours to depart amid complaints that coverage had been "derogatory" towards Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf.
The focus of the dispute is a leading article which appeared in the Daily Telegraph on Friday, and suggested that Western powers had previously regarded General Musharraf as "our sonofab****".
"In short, the relationship between Gen Musharraf and the West is bankrupt," it stated. "Valued as an ally after 9/11, he is now part of the problem."
The piece drew a sharp response from Imran Gardezi of the Pakistan High Commission, who demanded an apology in a letter to the newspaper.
"The language used of the president of Pakistan in your leading article is offensive and flouts the norms of decent journalism," he wrote. "For a newspaper of The Daily Telegraph's reputation to resort to such derogatory language is highly regrettable."
The row came as concern continued to grow over the situation in Pakistan, which has been worsening since General Musharraf declared a state of emergency last Saturday.
Thousands of protesters, including lawyers and activists from opposition parties, have been arrested under what amounts to marshal law.
On Saturday protests were staged outside Downing Street demanding the restoration of democracy in Pakistan.
Led by Jemima Khan, the ex-wife of Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, the demonstrators chanted slogans and waved banners, calling General Musharraf a "butcher" and a "terrorist".
Copyright © Press Association Ltd. 2007, All Rights Reserved.
|Daily Telegraph declines comment on expulsion of journalists|
20 hours ago
LONDON (AFP) — The Daily Telegraph said it could not immediately comment on a report that three of its journalists were ordered out of Pakistan on Saturday for a strong attack on President Pervez Musharraf.
State television in Pakistan reported that the three had been ordered to leave within 72 hours for using "foul and abusive language" against its leadership.
The report came after an editorial in the newspaper which was sharply critical of Britain's and the United States' relationship with Musharraf.
"In short, the relationship between General Musharraf and the West is bankrupt," it read.
"Valued as an ally after 9/11, he is now part of the problem."
The newspaper also described Musharraf as "a spent force" and said he had shown a combination of "incompetence and brutality".