Dateline Pakistan: First they came for the reporters

” target = “_blank”>returned from exile Sunday to an ecstatic welcome from thousands of supporters.

And in Karachi, they’re beating reporters, arresting them, releasing them, banning them.  approving them with the manic energy of paranoid speed freaks or a military/police system out of control, take your pick.

And this personal update from a friend, a Pakistani journalist who spent at week here at as a ” target = “_blank”> Shahid Shah’s blog, has the latest:

45 more journalists arrested in Pakistan

Posted by Shahid Shah at 5:44 PM

Karachi police released the all journalists they arrested yesterday 20 November during a peaceful protest outside the Karachi Press Club, however, around 45 more journalists have been arrested in Pakistan.

Today, when journalists of Quetta, Faisalabad, Peshawar and other cities of the country took out processions in solidarity with the journalists of Karachi, the police unleashed their sticks on them. Journalists in Peshawar and Faisalabad were severely beaten up. Police made around 20 arrests in Peshawar and 25 in Quetta.

In Karachi, more than 500 journalists gathered inside the Karachi Press Club and condemned police action of Tuesday. They vowed to continue their struggle till withdrawal of PEMRA (Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority) Ordinance and revival of constitution.

On the other hand, the government allowed ARY Oneworld on the cable network in the country, whereas, Geo News and all other three TV channels of three group remained off air.

This is worrisome, to say the least. 

Reporters aren’t Musharraf’s problem. 

The Taliban and Islamists are his problem.

Secular democracy is the solution.