Pakistan criticises India for not allowing foreign journalists to visit AJK

Indication of shrinking space for free speech under dictatorial regime, says FM Qureshi

Our Correspondent August 04, 2021
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. PHOTO: ANADOLU AGENCY/FILE


Federal ministers have criticised the right-wing government of Narendra Modi for denying permission to five foreign journalists based in India from travelling to Pakistan's Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and covering a session of the local legislative assembly.  

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi criticised New Delhi for refusing permission to the five journalists and highlighted how India’s decision was reflective of their government’s 'dictatorial regime'.

This was a 'damning indication' of how independent journalism was “shrinking” under the Modi government, the FM said in a tweet on his official handle.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry also condemned New Delhi's actions, adding that he wanted journalists to visit Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and report 'facts'.

The journalists were “supposed to attend 5th August session of Azad Kashmir Assembly”, he wrote on Twitter.

“So much for freedom of expression”, Chaudhry added.

Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar soon quote tweeted Chaudhry’s tweet, adding that India wanted to 'hide' the realities of IIOJK by barring the journalists.

“We want the world to see what is happening in Azad Kashmir and they want to hide what is happening in Indian occupied Kashmir,” he said.

Umar added that the difference between 'right and wrong' was evident by the countries’ actions.

National Security Advisor Moeed Yusuf commented on the situation via Twitter, stating that these were the 'actions of an insecure government'.

The Indian government has 'much to hide' from the world, he said.

Yusuf maintained that India is trying to hide the reality of AJK so that it is not compared to 'the open jail' that exists in Kashmir under Indian occupation.

Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari questioned if the journalists would report on the government’s refusal to let them visit AJK and 'expose the growing myth of Indian democracy under [the] fascist Modi'.



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