Indian journos barred even from standing outside gates of SAARC

Six Indian journalists, who were given visa to travel to Islamabad to cover the event, were refused entry to inaugural function.

Published: 07th August 2016 01:08 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th August 2016 01:08 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Indian journalists, who went to cover the SAARC Home Ministers' conference in Islamabad, had to face hostile Pakistani officials, who not only denied them access to the inaugural function but also barred them from standing at the entrance of the venue where their Interior Minister was to receive dignitaries, leading to tense moments.

The six Indian journalists, who were given visa to travel to Islamabad to cover the event, were flatly refused entry to the inaugural function, which was attended by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The Indian journalists then stood near the entrance of the where Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan was receiving the visiting dignitaries from SAARC countries.

As Pakistani media took position to capture the moment of Home Minister Rajnath Singh's arrival, Indian journalists too joined them. Immediately, Pakistani officials curtly told them to leave the place, saying Indian journalists were not allowed to stand even outside the gate.

When Pakistani officials asked Doordarshan cameraperson R Jayashree Puri and ANI's Ajay Kumar Sharma to remove their cameras, a senior Indian diplomat tried to intervene and protested.

The diplomat hotly argued that Indian journalists be allowed to be near the gate to capture Singh's arrival as Pakistani journalists, video and still camerapersons were present and freely taking shots.

The Pakistani officials made it clear that the Indian journalists have to leave the place immediately, leading to a verbal duel between the diplomat and a Pakistani official.

The Pakistani official even directed some of his juniors to block the view of Indian journalists and soon the reporters and camerapersons were surrounded by several persons, apparently policemen in civvies, making it impossible for them to shoot anything.

This resulted the Indian journalists failing to capture the moment when Singh touched the hands of his Pakistani counterpart, a gesture short of a formal handshake, reflecting the growing chill in the ties between the two countries.

As per SAARC protocol, the inaugural statement by the host country is open to the media while the rest of the proceedings are in camera.

The Pakistani establishment was also circulating information in the local media that Indian Home Minister had visited washroom eight times to make calls to New Delhi when the conference was going on.

The fact is that the washroom was outside the conference hall and the Home Minister used it twice -- once before the formal ministers' meet started after he and his SAARC counterparts had made a courtesy call to Pakistan Prime Sharif and again when the meeting got over.

Besides, Home Minister Singh does not carry a cell phone even while he is in India and, whenever necessary, uses those of his aides.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp