The South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) claimed that Radio Mashal was closed by Pakistan’s intelligence agency (ISI). It said that freedom of speech in the South Asia should not be victimized by hostile policies.
“Freedom of speech is the victim of large intelligence deals in Pakistan,” head of SAFMA’s Afghanistan office, Zia Bomia said. “Pakistan does not pay respect to the national and international values and just wants to reach its goals. Freedom of speech is a human right and should not be victim of the governments’ hostile policies.”
The office of Radio Mashal was closed by police Friday in Islamabad after Pakistan’s interior ministry issued the order of closure. This channel had frequently criticized Pakistan government and ISI.
Afghanistan’s free media watchdog (NAI) said that intelligence bodies do not have the right to close a media outlet without justifiable evidence.
Head of Radio Liberty expressed “sorrow” over the closure of Mashal Radio in Pakistan.
Saber Mohmand, spokesman for culture ministry called this part of a political game by Pakistan, saying that: “The closure of this radio is terrorism against media.” He said that Afghan government slammed this act.
Radio Mashal is part of the greater Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that is financed by the US congress. Its headquarters is in Prague of the Czech Republic.
The US government said it had shared concerns with Pakistan government over the closure of the radio. The US state department promised to assess the issue from near.