Govt’s inapt stance on Khashoggi affair regrettable: HRCP | Pakistan Today

Govt’s inapt stance on Khashoggi affair regrettable: HRCP

LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) in the wake of the details released concerning the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, allegedly at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, has regretted the failure of the Pakistani government to take an appropriate stand on the incident.

In a statement issued here on Monday, HRCP Chairperson Dr Mehdi Hasan said that the commission also has “serious reservations about the prime minister’s decision to attend the Future Investment Initiative Conference in Riyadh tomorrow.”

He said that this decision ignores the sentiments of a large number of people. “Even apart from the international outcry that has followed Mr Khashoggi’s murder, there is a moral principle at stake here: the value accorded to the right to dissent and to freedom of expression should not be undermined this easily by business interests,” the statement said.

“Given that the Pakistani media itself has become increasingly vulnerable to undeclared curbs on press freedom, HRCP feels that the government should have taken a clearer stand on the Khashoggi affair,” Dr Hasan added.

The HRCP chairperson said that to merely say that it is “appropriate to await the outcome of the investigation according to the response issued by the Foreign Office, underscores a worrying lack of concern not only for the constitutional principle of freedom of expression but also for the security of journalists.”

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