NEW DELHI: In a major blow to the Narendra Modi government, highly neutral and independent news broadcaster NDTV has started receiving international support even from sovereign republics over the issue of CBI raids. Among the first countries to speak up against this attack on press freedom is the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which has issued a statement in support of NDTV.
“The attempt by the government of India to supress free and neutral voices like NDTV worries our nation,” the statement released by Pakistan read, “The attack on innocent NDTV is in line with attacks on innocent Kashmiris and shows how India doesn’t value individual freedom and liberty.”
Earlier, NDTV had received massive support from international media, from former employees and associates of the company, and from Arvind Kejriwal over CBI raids against channel founders Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika Roy.
The strongly worded statement by Pakistan has claimed that the CBI raids against NDTV founders were indicative of the trend that Hindu extremists were taking policy decisions, a trend that will destroy communal harmony in South Asia.
Apart from strong condemnation, Pakistan also warned that it will cut off all diplomatic ties with India if the probe against NDTV’s alleged financial fraud was not scrapped. It further said that it will start lobbying with China and USA to put sanctions on India for this attack on press freedom.
“India will be internationally isolated very soon. We would also refuse to play cricket with India and no Indian player will be allowed in PSL (Pakistan Super League),” warned Basit Ali, Pakistani High Commissioner to India talking exclusively to Junta Ka Reporter founder-editor Mofat Javed at an iftar party.
The support from Pakistan is expected to be a big shot in arm for NDTV as Modi government is very careful and sensitive about international relations. Sources in the government say that Narendra Modi had already sent emails to US President Donald Trump requesting not to impose any sanctions without hearing India’s case.
International experts too agree that this move by Pakistan has put the Narendra Modi government under tremendous pressure.
“Pakistan’s image in the international community is that of a responsible republic and a strong condemnation by the country will have adverse impacts on India. We have already seen international media supporting NDTV, and international media’s opinions are the one that drive international relations,” Sadanand Dhume, a neutral expert told Junta Ka Reporter.
NDTV has not officially reacted but sources say that the channel welcomes all support that strengthens press freedom in India and everywhere in the world.