I am troubled by last week’s closure of the Islamabad bureau of Radio Mashaal, the Pashto-language service in Pakistan of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
RFE/RL’s dedicated reporters are Pakistani citizens providing unbiased and accurate local reporting. They should be permitted to do their jobs informing the Pakistan citizenry, and they should be guaranteed safety while they do it.
Pakistan is a difficult and dangerous place for journalists, and the brave men and women at Radio Mashaal risk their lives and livelihoods to uncover and report the truth. We believe that in Pakistan, as in the more than 100 other countries in which we operate, people should have unfettered access to news and information that affects their lives.
I stand with RFE/RL President Tom Kent and the dedicated journalists of Radio Mashaal, and I call for the immediate reopening of its offices in Islamabad. The people of Pakistan deserve access to fact-based reporting.