Pakistan orders expulsion of Irish journalist

Veteran correspondent and New York Times bureau chief in Islamabad Declan Walsh ordered to leave country

Declan Walsh was hired by The New York Times in January 2012.

Declan Walsh was hired by The New York Times in January 2012.

Mon, May 20, 2013, 11:37

Pakistan’s interior ministry has ordered the expulsion of a prominent Irish journalist.

Declan Walsh, the Islamabad bureau chief for the New York Times, was issued with the order on Thursday ahead of today’s national elections.

Orginally from Ballina, Co Mayo, Mr Walsh (39) started his career in the Sunday Business Post.

For the past nine years he has lived and worked in Pakistan, writing on the country’s violent political upheavals, mostly for the Guardian newspaper of Britain.

He was hired by the New York Times in January 2012.

The US newspaper reported that the Pakistani ministry did not give any explanation for the expulsion order, which was delivered by police officers in the form of a two-sentence letter to Mr Walsh at his home on Thursday.

“It is informed that your visa is hereby cancelled in view of your undesirable activities.You are therefore advised to leave the country within 72 hours,” the order stated.

The New York Times said it strongly protested the move and was seeking Mr Walsh’s reinstatement.

Jill Abramson, the newspaper’s executive editor, expressed concern about the order in a letter of protest to Pakistan’s interior minister, Malik Muhammad Habib Khan, describing Mr Walsh as a “reporter of integrity who has at all times offered balanced, nuanced and factual reporting on Pakistan.” She asked the minister to reinstate Mr Walsh’s visa.