High-profile expulsion: Declan Walsh declared persona non grata

Published: July 3, 2013
Email
Declan Walsh had been working in Pakistan since 2004. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPERSS

Declan Walsh had been working in Pakistan since 2004. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPERSS

LAHORE: 

Declan Walsh, The New York Times Pakistan bureau chief, has officially been placed in category A of the Black List (BL), with the government declaring him persona non grata, documents available with The Express Tribune reveal.

According to the letter issued by Shahid Riaz, assistant director (BL Cell) at the directorate general for immigration and passports, Walsh has been blacklisted on the recommendation of the interior ministry and will no longer be able to avail visa facilities without the prior approval of the immigration and passports authority.

Meanwhile, in a letter addressed to Information and Broadcasting Minister Pervez Rasheed, Walsh has requested the minister for his assistance in reinstating the visa.

Walsh, who has been covering Pakistan for the New York Times from London, has said in his letter that “The New York Times has been unable to ascertain the reasons for the visa cancellation, other than the “undesirable activities” that were cited in the interior ministry letter. I have been based in Pakistan since 2004 and I hope that my record speaks for itself.”

Unravelling the mystery

According to the contents of a report prepared by an intelligence agency, Walsh was expelled due to false journalism against Pakistan and violating his terms of stay by visiting prohibited areas without a no objection certificate (NOC).

The report says that the journalist has, overtime, produced inaccurate and defamatory pieces about Pakistan with one creating the impression that the country’s nuclear weapons storage areas were being attacked.

In addition, Walsh had also been violating rules and regulations by visiting troubled areas without an NOC.

“…Walsh has frequently been advised to refrain from violating procedures. Nevertheless, disregarding instructions he continued to visit various no-go areas without clearance,” says the report.

The report also states that despite the ministry recommending non-extension of his visa, Walsh had managed to secure a one-year extension using political influence.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd, 2013.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (23)

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jul 3, 2013 - 10:25AM

    Well done Government of Pakistan for issuing orders for throwing out one of the spy’s from Pakistan.

    Pakistan must throw out more foreign spy’s from the land of pure.

    Recommend

  • SNJ
    Jul 3, 2013 - 11:10AM

    Sad!

    Recommend

  • Local yokel
    Jul 3, 2013 - 11:36AM

    Since 2004!! Thats 9 solid years. Wow .. planning for a book, Declan ? Havent interviewed all your sources yet ? :D

    Recommend

  • Shah
    Jul 3, 2013 - 12:19PM

    Good move Pakistan. Today for the first time i feel that my country also have a sovereignty.

    Recommend

  • Noble Tufail
    Jul 3, 2013 - 12:30PM

    Things should be okay with walsh if you respect the laws of the land.

    Recommend

  • Candid1
    Jul 3, 2013 - 12:42PM

    New York Times has consistently published partial, inaccurate, and at times entirely false reports about Pakistan, designed to create and perpetuate a negative impression of Pakistan among its readers. However, expelling New York Times journalists, is the not enough, Pakistan needs to initiate slander/libel proceedings against New York Times before Pakistani and American courts, seeking compensation for the damage inflicted on Pakistan due to New York Times partial, inaccurate, and false reporting on Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • DARKWATCH
    Jul 3, 2013 - 12:42PM

    ^^^Land of the pure? Do you even know what ‘pure’ means?

    Recommend

  • CoolIt
    Jul 3, 2013 - 12:43PM

    No need to get excited everyone, he’ll be back in no time.

    Recommend

  • S
    Jul 3, 2013 - 1:30PM

    Good move. We must take strong measures to safegaurd ourselves.

    And all the liberals shouting about explanation, do british or americans give explanations when they detain foreigners without charge? (and we have only expelled)

    Recommend

  • Mj
    Jul 3, 2013 - 2:28PM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:

    “Well done Government of Pakistan for issuing orders for throwing out one of the spy’s from Pakistan.”

    Hollow assertion without any proof.

    @Candid1:
    “New York Times has consistently published partial, inaccurate, and at times entirely false reports about Pakistan, designed to create and perpetuate a negative impression of Pakistan among its readers. “

    Give examples for our benefit.

    Recommend

  • Jul 3, 2013 - 2:39PM

    Certainly a good move!
    I request to govt to impose a life ban on Declan Walsh from entering/staying Pakistan

    Recommend

  • Nadir
    Jul 3, 2013 - 2:43PM

    He has already been expelled in early May, these news pieces are just for domestic consumption.

    Recommend

  • HR
    Jul 3, 2013 - 2:44PM

    @S..

    Very well said. The liberals are basically not liberals, they actually are critics who will find issues with everything that goes against their masters, and everything that goes for Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Murtaza
    Jul 3, 2013 - 4:58PM

    I honestly don’t know what to call the media and journalists here in pakistan. A 9th grader writing for his school newspaper has more insight and technique than the garbage at ET.

    As journalists and seeing someone from your global fraternity be attacked, why has ET not chosen to actually go through Walsh s record and see what the facts are. if he is guilty of engineering biased reports then we salute journalism and state weeding out its bad elements. if he is innocent, then you have stood up for the oath you took as a journalist and preserved the institution.

    presenting this article the way it has, the effects are quite evident as you scroll down the comment thread. Good we kicked that whitey out !!

    “Media’s right to inform , and the public’s right to know”

    Recommend

  • Unbelievable.
    Jul 3, 2013 - 6:50PM

    So much for Freedom Of the Press. The Pakistan military pays off the press to plant stories and you do nothing. The Pakistan military assassinates journalist who write offending articles and you do nothing. A foreign journalist writes articles which offend the military and he gets deported – and you clap your hands. Being cowardly and xenophobic is a bad combination.

    Recommend

  • usman
    Jul 3, 2013 - 9:21PM

    Action taken by the government is a good move. Nobody will be allowed for wrong doings in Pakistan as Walsh was expelled due to false journalism against Pakistan and violating his terms of stay by visiting prohibited areas without a no objection certificate (NOC). Atleast we must have rules in our country against the foriegners as the west used to apply on our citizens.

    Recommend

  • H
    Jul 3, 2013 - 9:44PM

    Strange isn’t it? High profile journalists can roam around freely to these ‘sensitive’ areas in Pakistan while the citizens of the country live in constant fear… very interesting :s

    Recommend

  • Zain
    Jul 3, 2013 - 11:11PM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:

    I can’t stop laughing at this part “The Land of pure”.

    Recommend

  • Hatf XX
    Jul 4, 2013 - 1:19AM

    @H: Well-spotted Sir – good work, I say! That’s the spirit!!
    And to think he was hiding in plain sight, the sly fiend.

    Recommend

  • Waseem Azmet
    Jul 4, 2013 - 11:11PM

    Why is he mentioned in headline as “high-profile”? He is a journalist and had been performing his job in a transparent manner. He had always been working in low profile in Pakistan and abroad. The headline is simply misleading.

    Recommend

  • Typical Desi
    Jul 5, 2013 - 1:22AM

    @Mj: Hollow assertion ?
    If you are Pakistani, go for disobedience movement as you seems not trusting your state bureaucracy/machinery.

    Recommend

  • Sao
    Jul 6, 2013 - 4:23PM

    This looks like the typical case of a spy and Washington-sponsored saboteur whose cover was blown.

    When the Kamra air base was attacked Declan Walsh told the world that the base was “thought” to house nuclear weapons… without explaining just who was the one who “thought” that or presenting any evidence whatsoever to back this assertion.

    When the news of his expulsion from Pakistan came out, the Guardian posted a picture of him from February 2005 merrily posing with armed separatists commanded by Nawab Akbar Bugti, at a time when the Baloch insurgency was particularly intense and no Pakistani army personnel (let alone any journalist) could ever venture to Dera Bugti (where that photo was taken) without great peril to his life.

    By the way, the New York Times admitted that it knew Raymond Davis was a spy right from the day when he was arrested in Lahore but under the White House’s orders kept telling its readers that he was a diplomat until two British newspapers told the world the truth. This is the last newspaper on earth who should ever cry foul when its reporters are expelled from countries that the US doesn’t like.

    So yes, Declan Walsh’s record does speak for itself!Recommend

  • Saleem
    Jul 6, 2013 - 8:55PM

    If Pakistani liberals are so sad at his expulsion then they have the perfect way to protest: they should divest their own Pakistani citizenship as well and emigrate to the US. That is, if the Americans will ever let you anywhere near their country.

    Recommend

More in Pakistan