Karachi - “The distribution of Dawn newspaper, for the past month, is witnessing daily disruptions in targeted cities and towns across Pakistan. Hawkers and sales agents are being subjected to continued harassment, threats and physical coercion, while attempting to deliver copies of Dawn to our regular subscribers,” a statement issued by the management of Dawn said on Tuesday.

“Newspaper vans and hawkers, distributing copies of Dawn, have already been denied entry to many cantonment areas for the past several months. Since the middle of May, however, officials posted in several cities and towns in Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan are disallowing the distribution of Dawn to even civilians residing in several areas. Multiple reports are also coming in of officials posted in many cities and towns in the Punjab, arbitrarily summoning newspaper agents, hawkers and salesmen, and warning them not to distribute copies of Dawn, threatening them with consequences if disobeyed.”

“We at Dawn firmly believe it is the right of every person to buy and read a newspaper of his or her choice, and any attempt to forcibly deny citizens access to Dawn or any other newspaper is a categorical violation of Article 19 of the Constitution. We call upon caretaker Prime Minister retired Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa and Chief Justice of Pakistan Honourable Mian Saqib Nissar to take strong notice without any further delay of this hostile situation. All concerned authorities should direct state institutions to desist from such actions and remove all impediments to the smooth distribution of Dawn and other newspapers.”

“We appeal to Dawn’s longstanding readers, to demonstrate both patience and tolerance with respect to these temporary disruptions, and wherever possible, to contact their sales agent or Dawn’s office directly to report either intermittent delivery or non-delivery of Dawn.”