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US asks Pakistan to restore operations of Radio Mashaal

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

The US today urged to restore operations of shut down by for allegedly broadcasting programmes against the "interests" of the country.

The Pashto-language radio station of US Congress-funded (RFE/RL) was operating from the border areas of and

Last week had shut down bureau of after the ISI alleged that its programmes were "against the interest of Pakistan and in line with a hostile intelligence agency's agenda".

The allegations were denied by REF/RL.

"serves no intelligence agency or government," had said.

"We are very concerned about the Pakistani Ministry of Interior's decision to close the offices of Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Liberties, in on January 19th," State Department told reporters at the

She said the US has conveyed its concerns to Pakistan and urged them to "swiftly and unequivocally revoke the closure decision and restore Radio Marshall's operations".

In a separate statement, John F Lansing, Broadcasting Board of Governors, said he was "troubled" by the decision of the

"RFE/RL's dedicated reporters are Pakistani citizens providing unbiased and accurate local reporting. They should be permitted to do their jobs informing the Pakistan citizenry, and they should be guaranteed safety while they do it," he said.

"I call for the immediate reopening of its offices in Islamabad. The people of Pakistan deserve accesstofact-based reporting," Lansing said.

The Pakistani move comes amid deteriorating US-Pakistan relations after Washington's decision to suspend military aid to Islamabad.

RFE/RL's Pashto language service, known locally as Radio Mashaal, is a public service broadcaster providing an alternative to extremist propaganda in Pakistan's tribal regions.

Kent demanded that journalists be allowed to resume their work "without fear or delay".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 26 2018. 05:45 IST