Pakistan declines visa renewals of two Indian journalists


Pakistan has declined to renew the visas of two Indian journalists in Pakistan, as claimed by an Indian government official.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the two journalists have been told that they must leave the country within a week.

According to an official of the Information Ministry, journalists Meena Menon of The Hindu newspaper and Snehesh Philip of Press Trust of India, the two journalists were informed on Thursday by the director of External Publicity Wing, a department within the Ministry of Information that deals with foreign journalists, that their visas would not be renewed.

Another official of the External Publicity Wing, Altaf Hussain, said that a statement about the visas of the two Indian journalists would be forthcoming from the Ministry of Interior.

MK Razdan, Editor in Chief of Press Trust of India, said, “We have no confirmation as of Friday afternoon of the expulsion of our reporter.” No officla from The Hindu was available for comment.

A representative of India’s Ministry of External Affairs said he had no immediate comment.

Pakistan and India have an agreement that each is allowed two journalists in each other’s capital: one from a newswire and the other from a newspaper.

There has been no Pakistani journalist in New Delhi since 2011.

According to reports, the two Indian journalists had arrived in Pakistan in August 2013. Their visas were valid till March 9, 2014 and both journalists had submitted applications to renew their visas before the expiration date. After their original visas expired, they were issued letters stating that their visa renewals were being processed, as is standard practice for foreign journalists in Pakistan.