The New York Times (NYT) on Friday strongly protested the expulsion of their Pakistan bureau chief Declan Walsh, a report on their website read.
“The Times has strongly protested the move and is seeking his reinstatement.”
The paper’s executive editor Jill Abramson in a letter to the caretaker Interior Minister Malik Habib Khan protested the move and asked him to reinstate Walsh’s visa.
Walsh has been covering Pakistan and Afghanistan for close to a decade first for the Guardian and, since 2012, for the NYT.
Early on Thursday morning, Walsh was served a notice from the government that his visa had been cancelled and that he had 72 hours to leave the country.
According to the NYT, the notice cited Walsh’s “undesireable activities” as the reason for his visa being cancelled. No specific reason was reportedly offered.
“It is informed that your visa is hereby canceled in view of your undesirable activities. You are therefore advised to leave the country within 72 hours.”
The orders came just two days before general elections scheduled for Saturday May 11.
Walsh’s twitter timeline though did not speak for much about his expulsion except for the report about his organisation’s protests with the authorities.
His last article for the NYT before he received expulsion orders was about the political make up of Multan and the longstanding culture of patronage.
The holy men of Multan and their battle for votes – my take on the lure of patronage in Pakistani politics http://t.co/okLDeiLFI8
— Declan Walsh (@declanwalsh) May 9, 2013