ISLAMABAD: US Ambassador Richard Olson Tuesday met with a group of nine American journalists from the East-West Centre’s Pakistan-US Journalists Exchange programme.
According to a statement of the US embassy, Olson discussed issues of press freedom and dangers to journalists in Pakistan. In his remarks to the group, Ambassador Olson said, “We are alarmed and deplore the increased attacks on journalists in Pakistan. The most recent attack against one of Pakistan’s most well regarded journalists, who has been a staunch defender of fundamental democratic freedoms including freedom of the press here, should be a wake-up call to all who value democracy in this country. A free media is a key ingredient of democracy, and allows for a healthy national discussion on shaping a peaceful future for the country. Everyone must do more to defend these courageous voices against those who seek to silence them.”
This US embassy-sponsored Pakistan-US Journalists Exchange programme is designed to increase and deepen public understanding of the two countries and their relationship. The journalists are meeting with Pakistani government officials, media, and representatives from the private sector and non-government organisations in Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore.