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Pakistan: Press Freedom

Volume 472: debated on Thursday 21 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the level of restrictions on the press in Pakistan expected in relation to the general election of 18 February 2008; and if he will make a statement. (186711)

I called on the Government of Pakistan to ensure that all media outlets were free to cover all aspects of the elections process so that voters could make an informed choice. Media freedom in Pakistan is approaching levels similar to those before imposition of the State of Emergency in November 2007, although the amendments to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority ordinances and the new code of conduct remain in force. All private media broadcasters are back on air. We continue to monitor the situation closely, including through the EU Election Observer Mission, which will be reporting on the conduct of the elections.