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MFAT Cancels Musharraf Interviews

Press Release
Front Page Ltd.

Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Cancels Musharraf Interviews

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has today cancelled two in depth media interviews with Pakistani President Musharraf.

The interviews were scheduled for Radio New Zealand’s “Nine to Noon” and the TVOne programme “Agenda”.

Agenda producer Richard Harman says no explanation has been given for the cancellation of the interview on his programme though a Foreign Affairs spokesman claimed the decision had been made by the Pakistanis.

President Musharraf’s visit here comes in a week with heightened concerns about human rights in his country provoked by an honour gang rape.

Mr Harman said his programme certainly intended to ask the President about the rape and human rights in his country.

“Right from the start the New Zealand authorities have been hyper sensitive over this visit and our interview,” said Mr Harman.

“We even received a demand from the New Zealand police that the President’s motorcade not be filmed as it entered the TVNZ network centre complex in Auckland.”

“It is time for the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs to start upholding the fundamental New Zealand democratic right of a free media and stop pandering to the whims of foreign dictators.”

ENDS


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