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New York Times reporter ordered to leave Pakistan

(Reuters) - The government of Pakistan ordered the New York Times' bureau chief in Islamabad to leave the country on the eve of national elections, the newspaper said on Friday.

A two-sentence letter was delivered by police officers to the home of the bureau chief, Declan Walsh, at 12:30 a.m. local time on Thursday, it said.

"It is informed that your visa is hereby canceled in view of your undesirable activities," the Times quoted the letter as saying. "You are therefore advised to leave the country within 72 hours."

The newspaper protested the action and urged the government to reconsider, said Danielle Rhoades Ha, a company spokeswoman.

"We respectfully request that you overturn this decision and allow Mr. Walsh to remain in Pakistan," wrote Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson in a letter to Pakistan's interior minister, Ha said.

Pakistanis go to the polls on Saturday in what is expected to be a close-fought race.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller in New York; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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