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Pakistan's President Eases Restrictions on Media


Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has withdrawn a law that imposed curbs on the media, following criticism both in Pakistan and abroad.

Government officials say General Musharraf agreed to the decision after meeting with a delegation of Pakistani broadcasters Saturday.

Information Minister Mohammed Ali Durrani says that, in return, Pakistan's Broadcasters Association has agreed to prepare a code of conduct that will ensure what he called "respect for national institutions" like the armed forces and the judiciary.

The media legislation, which was issued last Monday, allowed authorities to seize equipment, revoke licenses, and seal the premises of broadcasters deemed to be operating illegally.

Broadcasters said the law was an effort to silence them for their extensive coverage of anti-government protests against the president's decision to suspend Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry on charges of abuse of power.

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