New York Times protests expulsion of its Pakistan bureau chief

Published: May 11, 2013
Declan Walsh was working for the New York Times since January 2012. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPERSS

Declan Walsh was working for the New York Times since January 2012. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPERSS

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.

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Reader Comments (29)

  • Suwaid Ahmed Khan
    May 11, 2013 - 2:39AM

    Although I am against the politics of patronage and waasta, I think it’s better if Mr Walsh leaves.


  • Kafir
    May 11, 2013 - 3:08AM

    Why are we silencing the truth. As a Pakistani, I find this expulsion offensive. Let the man expose the realities we all know about. Only awareness fixes things. A good example would be the coverage of rapes in India, only exposure creates awareness, which will lead to a solution, hopefully.


  • Nadir
    May 11, 2013 - 3:15AM

    On the day of great democratic excitement, youtube remains banned, pop videos get banned, local journalists are targeted and foreign journalists are forced to leave. What a sham!


  • Khan
    May 11, 2013 - 3:32AM

    Finally There is a hope. The Good News Whould be to Ban NYT, But, For Now, expulsion of their bureau chief Declan Walsh Will Be Enough.


  • madnessss
    May 11, 2013 - 4:23AM

    Not surprised ET feeling so sad! $$$$$


  • Shaami
    May 11, 2013 - 5:25AM

    History have told us that Pakistan Security Establishment simply dont arrest or expel a person for no reasons. In the case of Sarbighit and Kashmir Singh we have already seen that our Security Apparatus was right in their comprehensions and in this case as well there must be a firm evidence to expel him as hundreds of foreign correspondents are working in Pakistan and showing the door to only journalist points to this fact that Our Agencies must have solid proof in his involvement of undesirable activities. .


  • Shabaz
    May 11, 2013 - 5:35AM

    Sometimes Pakistanis do really nice stuff.


  • Alfarooq Kemal
    May 11, 2013 - 6:19AM

    Though it’s pretty common of bias and one sided reporting from western journalists yet I don’t see any justification to deprive from reporting and expel Mr Walsh just before historic Pakistani General Elections; It is indeed unfortunate; We must learn to stand critics and answer if find negativity in anyone reporting.


  • JB
    May 11, 2013 - 6:22AM

    Declan Walsh should stay…Press Freedom is necessary for democracy.


  • Rick Shaw
    May 11, 2013 - 6:28AM

    This guy is unimportant, he is not the story, please don’t make him the story NYT….


  • sid
    May 11, 2013 - 9:02AM

    If this be it………..Pakistani should not cry when its citizens are deported from US


  • Ricky
    May 11, 2013 - 9:31AM

    We do not want large papers like NY Times to publish the stories of TTP hijacking the elections. TTP while on the killing and terror spree give free license to their two rightwing parties, yet we claim the elections free, fair and peaceful. We do not want these stories and pictures get out of Pakistan against our strategic assets. There is a danger that the donor countries of the West would demand what is million man army doing if they cannot stop the rag tag Taliban? If we keep these investigative reporters out we would be able to have our strategic assets safe and active.


  • Khan
    May 11, 2013 - 10:12AM

    This is really shocking. And on the eve of elections. Declan Walsh is such an important journalist covering for several major international news networks (Guardian, NYT). He is a great authority on Pakistan and Afghanistan and has worked very hard to bring forth the truths about so many things going on in Pakistan that even I was never aware of.

    If there’s one international journalist I trust, it’s Declan Walsh. I sincerely hope that he is reinstated. And I would strongly encourage Mr. Walsh to not give up!


  • Maulana Diesel
    May 11, 2013 - 12:45PM

    Unfortunately every foreigner journalists carries great authority on Pakistan only.


  • Shilpa
    May 11, 2013 - 1:22PM

    Excessive partying and drug abuse are the reasons.


  • sheela
    May 11, 2013 - 2:00PM

    pakistan wants to hide the “boom boom” which is happening during elections??


  • Immi
    May 11, 2013 - 4:20PM

    Declan mate sorry. It is for your own safety. Please come again later we’ll have cupa tea. This time try some local work about life in Brooklyn or Queens or perhaps election governance in Florida. C ya


  • s
    May 11, 2013 - 6:19PM

    when americans and british can expel or detain many many people due to “national security” why cant we expel some one for same? please go and dont come back again


  • Bubba
    May 11, 2013 - 6:33PM

    @Shaami. So using your logic – the security establishment discovered two Indian spies 20+ years ago and therefore expelling anyone without providing any proof is justified? That about sum it up?


  • Bubba
    May 11, 2013 - 8:59PM

    It would appear that Democracy is so new in Pakistan that you haven’t figured out that real Democracy can’t exist without a free press. Expelling the local head of NYT will just enhance the xenophobic/intolerant/backward image of Pakistan.


  • Mj
    May 11, 2013 - 10:34PM

    What about Saleem Shahzad?


  • Sexton Blake
    May 12, 2013 - 7:13AM

    Dear Bubba,
    Please tell me where free press exists anywhere in the world.


  • Parvez
    May 12, 2013 - 1:18PM

    All Declan Walsh has done is shown us the mirror……….. we should be men enough to accept what we see.
    On a lighter note : Was Declan in the running for ET’s Hottie-of-the week…….and has been ‘ taken out ‘ by his rival…………. using …. patronage.


  • james lurk
    May 12, 2013 - 11:03PM

    pakistani get deported all the time, and we don’t cry, because we are used to this. you are just getting a taste of your own medicine. pakistani media here is already free and they do report everything, sometime a bit too free for my liking, but thats ok. we don’t need these foreign reporters anyway. not sure why they even come here… i don’t know the reasons for his expulsion, but i am not feeling bad for him. and what’s the big deal anyway? this is not even a news…


  • Stranger
    May 13, 2013 - 5:32PM

    Distance begets distance. Please bring him back. The more we throw out people the more people will throw us out .


  • Sexton Blake
    May 13, 2013 - 8:35PM

    We will probably never know why Declan Walsh was deported. The whole area of deportations, world wide, is a murky business. However, to place deportations in their correct perspective it is just as well to realise that America deported 396,000 people in 2011 alone. One does not hear of too many protests or explanations on their behalf.


  • gp65
    May 14, 2013 - 10:06AM

    @Sexton Blake: US deported people who were staying there illegally. That does not apply to Declan Walsh. Hence your metric is ireelevant.


  • Sexton Blake
    May 14, 2013 - 12:05PM

    Dear gp 65,
    Once again, you have got it wrong.


  • Sexton Blake
    May 15, 2013 - 4:47AM

    Dear gp65,
    It may be of interest for you to note that Ryan Fogle, a US diplomat, has also been declared persona non grata and expelled form Russia. It looks as if the US is not having a good week. You may also recall that a short time ago Raymond Davis, a so called US diplomat, shot two men dead, in the back, in Lahore. Perhaps the Pakistan police did not wish to take a chance this time and bungled Mr. Walsh out quickly.


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