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Azad KashmirAzad Kashmir Minister Targets Journalists for Exposing Corruption

Azad Kashmir Minister Targets Journalists for Exposing Corruption

MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan-ADMINISTERED KASHMIR – April 24, 2024 – Azad Kashmir Minister Abdul Majid Khan has reportedly initiated legal action against two journalists, Waqas Kazmi and Raja Khalid, for their investigative reporting on alleged corruption within his ministry.

The journalists, who work for local news organizations, have been vocal critics of Khan, exposing a series of irregularities and misuse of power.

Kazmi and Khalid have published a series of investigative reports detailing allegations against Khan, including:

  • Unlawful appointments of favored individuals within the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Bank.
  • Misuse and misappropriation of bank assets for personal gain.
  • Corruption surrounding the establishment of migrant colonies in Valley Six.
  • Issuing fraudulent state subject certificates to non-Kashmiri residents.

The journalists claim that their reporting has angered Khan, who has initiated legal action against them in an attempt to silence them. They maintain that they have always sought Khan’s response to their allegations, and their actions fall within the realm of fair journalism.

The reported legal action against Kazmi and Khalid has sparked outrage among the journalist community in Azad Kashmir and Pakistan.

Various media organizations, journalists, and rights groups have condemned the government’s attempt to intimidate and suppress journalists.

They have called for an immediate withdrawal of the charges against Kazmi and Khalid and a thorough investigation into the allegations raised by them.

In a further escalation, Minister Khan has reportedly directed the government’s newly formed Social Media Committee to take action against the journalists. This committee, established on March 30th, has been criticized for its potential to stifle dissent and control the narrative on social media.

The incident highlights the growing pressure on journalists in Azad Kashmir, who often face threats and intimidation for their work. The government’s actions against Kazmi and Khalid are a worrying sign of a further erosion of press freedom in the region.

Azadi Times stands in solidarity with journalists Raja Khalid and Waqas Kazmi and condemns the government's attempt to silence them. We call for an immediate end to the harassment of journalists in Azad Kashmir and a full investigation into the allegations raised against Minister Abdul Majid Khan.

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