Pakistan needs to target the Haqqani network and not the press, a top American senator who was instrumental in blocking the sale of F-16 fighter jets to the country today said after Islamabad detained a journalist for writing an article criticising the powerful army.
“Instead of targeting the press, Pakistan should focus on ending its sanctuary for the Haqqani network,” Senator Bob Corker, Chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a tweet.
Corker, who had successfully blocked the sale of F-16s to Pakistan early this year, was referring to the travel ban imposed on a journalist of leading Pakistani newspaper ‘Dawn’ for writing a story on differences between the civilian government and the military over its support to militants.
The columnist Cyril Almeida yesterday said he was put on the Exit Control List – a border control system of the Pakistan government which allows it to bar people whose names appear on the list from leaving the country.
He had reported that leading civilian officials had warned the powerful army to renounce its covert support to militants like the Haqqani network, Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba – or face international isolation.