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Mark Toner

Washington concerned about missing Pakistani bloggers, activists

WASHINGTON: The US State Department expressed concern over the missing Pakistani bloggers and social media activists saying that Washington was monitoring the situation.

“We’re very concerned by reports that several Pakistani bloggers and activists have been reported missing and we’re going to continue to monitor the situation,” said State Department spokesperson, Mark C. Toner said during a regular press briefing.

“We value freedom of expression, that’s something we take very seriously and are going to continue to monitor the situation in Pakistan,” he added.

When asked about Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement saying that Pakistan was among the countries in which the US has state-of-the-art security operations center, Toner said, “It’s basically monitoring worldwide activity 24/7 in order to – if something happens in anywhere in the world that affects our people or affects American citizens or is a crisis that it has to involve the Secretary of State or, rather, the inter-agency, the operations center is, if you will, the first responders to any kind of activity like that, to any kind of crisis.”

“The embassy operations centers are kind of a central location which monitor threats to the embassy or its personnel and allow for real-time communications with Diplomatic Security and department officials in Washington,” Toner explained.

“It also allows us a way to connect directly with host government officials. So we have one of these in Pakistan, we have them elsewhere in the world as well.”

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.