Pakistan’s Interior Ministry has ordered the expulsion of the The New York Times Islamabad bureau chief on the eve of national elections, the newspaper reported Friday.
Declan Walsh, 39, a veteran correspondent who worked for the British newspaper The Guardian since 2004, was hired by The New York Times last year.
The ministry did not give any detailed explanation for the expulsion order, which was delivered by police officers in the form of a two-sentence letter at 12:30 a.m. Thursday local time, The Times reported.
“It is informed that your visa is hereby canceled in view of your undesirable activities,” the order stated. “You are therefore advised to leave the country within 72 hours.”
Walsh has written about the country's political strife, its insurgency and its often tense relations with the United States.
“72 hours, wheels up,” he tweeted. “To all friends, especially in Pakistan, who offered overwhelming support in recent days, thank you so much.”
Jill Abramson, the newspaper's executive editor, sent a letter to Pakistani authorities describing Walsh as a “reporter of integrity who has at all times offered balanced, nuanced and factual reporting on Pakistan”.
She called the accusation of undesirable activities “vague and unsupported.”