April 22, 2018
ISLAMABAD – Raza Rumi, Editor at Daily Times on Sunday admitted that his colleagues were practicing extra vigilance in a season of self-censorship.
In an op-ed piece headlined: ‘A season of self-censorship – confessions of an Editor-at-large,’ he admitted withholding many articles and statements.
“Many articles critical of judicial verdicts and statements from top-judges have been pruned and sometimes withheld for an indefinite review,” wrote Rumi, who edits the paper remotely from the United States.
“When the Constitution uses vague language to refer to the holy cows, we have little choice but to exercise due and sometimes undue caution.”
Rumi disclosed that Daily Times received a threat via email for its continued coverage of the abuse of blasphemy laws. He said his paper also got into trouble about a report that said that the sitting government was planning to counter the moves of the establishment. “Not an easy time. Far from it.”
He wrote that PTM’s rally in Peshawar was virtually blacked out by all TV channels and even in print only a few dared to report. “Even at Daily Times, my colleagues were not willing to give it prominent coverage. I agreed with them halfway and printed the story on the back page. Later, we have been reluctantly publishing articles about PTM while worrying about anything that may anger the powers-that-be.
“As the editor of this paper, I am more concerned about my colleagues and also the fact that I want to return to my homeland; lest I step on another ‘landmine.’”
Rumi, who used to anchor the program Khabar Se Agay on Express News Television was attacked in Lahore in March 2014 that killed his driver. He has lived in exile since.
Photo: Twitter (@Razarumi)
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