A day after Cyril Almeida, an assistant editor at the Dawn, Pakistan's oldest English daily, announced that he had been included in the 'Exit Control List', the United Stated has expressed concern over the difficulties and dangers faced by journalists in Pakistan but refrained from commenting on the travel restrictions imposed on a Pakistani scribe for reporting a rift between the civilian and military leaderships.
"I'm aware of the reports of restrictions on (Cyril) Almeida's travel. I would refer you to the government of Pakistan for information on that," State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters at his daily news conference.
"On press freedom, it's obviously an issue that we continue to raise regularly with the government of Pakistan, including our concerns about the difficulties and the dangers that journalists face there," he said.
"We are concerned about any efforts to limit press freedom or the ability of journalists to conduct their very, very important work," Kirby said.
Meanwhile, former home secretary RK Singh on 11 October said Islamabad's action only proves that the report published by the journalist was true.
Also, the Committee to Protect Journalists urged Pakistan to "immediately lift the travel ban" on Almeida.
"Pakistan can be a dangerous place for journalists, but the nation has a proud tradition of a fiercely independent press," said CPJ Asia Programme Coordinator Steven Butler.
Pakistani journalist Cyril Almeida took to Twitter on 10 October to allege that his name had appeared on the Pakistan government's Exit Control List. Under the ECL, Almeida - assistant editor with Pakistan's Dawn newspaper - is prohibited from leaving the country.