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Pakistan Tightens Coverage of Pashtun Nationalist Movement

Pakistani authorities are scrutinizing media coverage of a Pashtun nationalist movement, blocking VOA websites and filing police cases against journalists covering local rallies.Sailaab Mehsud of RFE/RL's Mashaal radio and Zafar Wazir of a local TV channel were identified in a police report as participants in a protest rally Saturday in Dera Ismael Khan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province along with nearly 20 other people. Police alleged they were chanting slogans against state institutions and inciting the public to violence.Mehsud said he and Wazir were covering the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement rally as journalists.About a week earlier, Pakistan ordered internet service providers to block the website of Voice of America's Urdu language service. VOA's Deewa news website, which primarily caters to the Pashto-speaking audience in the region around the Afghan border, has already been blocked for months....................

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