During the period eight Dailies, Weeklies, Fortnightly across Pakistan were raided, sealed and clamped down by state machinery according to data compiled through national newspapers. The four months period witnessed a hard billow to freedom of press on the pretext that the publications were to cause nation-wide anarchy by publishing ‘hate materials’. Two journalists were killed and three others were mishandled and mauled by law enforcing officials and political hooligans in this period. Government stopped advertisements’ release to Daily Nawa-i-Waqt/The Nation, Daily Dawn, Daily Sahafat, Daily Ausaf, Daily Business Reporter and Daily Frontier Post.
It was learnt that the ban was imposed on Naw-e-Waqt by Punjab government for it published a [paid] supplement of an opposition party.
The raids came after President Pervez Musharraf’s remarks in Islamabad at a youth convention on July 18 where he spoke strongly against religious extremism and on the need to curb such elements and prevent them from preaching their sectarian and hate-filled views, hence giving way to authorities to vent out animosity against national media.