LAHORE: In the wake of the details released concerning the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has said that it ‘regrets the Pakistani government’s failure to take an appropriate stand on the incident.’
In a statement issued today, HRCP has said it also has ‘serious reservations about the Prime Minister’s decision to attend the Future Investment Initiative Conference in Riyadh tomorrow. 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.
“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.
To merely say that it is ‘ppropriate 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.’