The war in Afghanistan once again thrust Pakistan into the role of a frontline state, and the country became the focus of the international media. Many within and outside the country feared the decision by the Pakistan government to become part of the American-led coalition would prove to be divisive, and that fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, would have to be curtailed in order to maintain law and order in the country.
Fortunately, apprehensions related to free expression proved to be exaggerated and the diversity of views expressed in the Pakistani press was unmatched even by the press in established democracies.
Pakistan played an important role in securing the release of international journalists who had been detained by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. However, neither the government in Pakistan nor the news media were well prepared for covering a war that took the world by surprise with the attacks in New York and Washington on 11 September.
Covering the War in Afghanistan
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