An article on Islamabad’s relations with Riyadh deleted by Pakistani news website.

An article on Islamabad’s relations with Riyadh deleted by Pakistani news website.

A Pakistani newspaper Columnist Imad Zafar’s article was published on the Express Tribune’s website, it got deleted within an hour.

Zafar said he wasn’t surprised with the move “In Pakistan, anything to do with Saudi Arabia is highly sensitive,” he said.

He told The Wire that he offered two topics to the Tribune editors for his column – two years of the PTI government and the fruitless visit of the Pakistani Army chief to Saudi Arabia. “I gave the choice thinking that they will not accept the Saudi subject, but they felt that it would be more topical. I asked them repeatedly if they are sure that they will be able to carry it, and they said yes.”

Zafar told his experience and said that it’s been a long time since he is working in the Pakistani media. “We used to discuss the topics before the publication… I know what’s the line and where to stop before that.”

Zafar also said that his article wasn’t uploaded on time so he asked the editors about the status . “I asked them twice, whether they will be able to stand the pressure. But, they again replied that there is no issue.”

He believes his article was taken out due to instructions from outside and it had nothing to do with internal decisions.“This was certainly done due to external pressure,” Zafar stated, adding that he intends to end his association with the Express Tribune.

Here is cached version of his article that was taken down from the newspaper’s website posted by The Wire.

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