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US funding for Pakistani journalists raises questions of transparency

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In a story published Aug. 16, "Strings attached: Talk of US scorecard rubbished," Imtiaz interviews a Department of Defense official who contradicts an earlier Wall Street Journal report that the US government was making decisions on aid based on Pakistani performance and cooperation.

She has also written for The New York Times, though not since drawing a salary from AAM, and published one essay for the Indian Express on being a Pakistani journalist in America when Osama bin Laden was captured. She also writes for Foreign Policy’s website, where she is credited only as the correspondent for Express News in Washington.

Awais Saleem’s reports include stories on cricket in Chicago and Pakistani fashion in the United States.

Neither reporter was willing to comment on the story.

Making a clear connection

AAM’s ombudsman, Jeffery Dvorkin, insists there is no US government involvement with content production.

“My role as ombudsman is to help AAM ensure there is no effort by its funders, including the government, to interfere with any of the content produced. Thus far, there have been no efforts of this kind. Secondly, AAM continues to make it clear to the government and to all funders that in order for AAM to proceed with this initiative, the government could have no involvement in content production or selection,” he says.

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