Call to remove journalist’s name from ECL


Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad—Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development And Transparency (PILDAT) has raised strong objections to putting an English newspaper’s staffer Cyril Almeida’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL). Terming it a reprehensible act on part of the government, PILDAT has demanded that Mr. Almeida’s name should be immediately removed from the ECL.
In a handout released to media here on Thursday, PILDAT says it believes that Cyril Almeida has been subjected to an unwarranted and misdirected witch-hunt for running a story which the newspaper maintains it handled ‘in a professional manner and carried it only after verification from multiple sources’.
Given that the newspaper also published two rejoinders issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, the government’s decision to put Mr. Almeida’s name on the ECL is not just an egregious violation of a citizen’s rights and that of media freedom, but a complete and total lack of responsibility, a misplaced outrage by the government and its misguided approach to apportioning blame where it is completely undue, further says the handout.
It is also important to note, PILDAT statement added, that contents of the said news report yet again signify a broad problem that besets civil-military relations in Pakistan.