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Saturday, May 25, 2024


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Pakistan News

    Title: Govt dispels ‘rumours’ of no international coverage of Feb 8 polls
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    Govt Dispels Rumours Of No International Coverage Of Feb 8 Polls 45451
    Description: Caretaker Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting, and Parliamentary Affairs, Murtaza Solangi, dismissed on Tuesday the rumours circulating about the absence of foreign journalists and observers in Pakistan for the upcoming general elections, asserting that such claims were contrary to the facts. Addressing a press conference alongside Secretary Information and Broadcasting Shahera Shahid, Executive Director General of External Publicity Wing Ambreen Jan, Principal Information Officer Dr Tariq Mehmood, and Director General of Radio Pakistan Saeed Sheikh, Solangi clarified that numerous international media professionals had applied for visas to cover the elections. Solangi revealed that as of today, 49 visas (for Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi) had been issued, with 32 requests under process. Many more requests were still pouring in from various international stations, he added. The 32 visa applications under process were received at the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi and were being handled through India's manual visa system. In terms of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Accreditation Cards, Solangi noted that 174 requests had been received and processed for foreign media representatives and their associated Pakistani staff based in Pakistan. Responding to media inquiries, he detailed that 25 applications were under process from the UK, eight from the Russian Federation, 13 from Japan, two from South Africa, and five from the Commonwealth under the category of International Observers. Also read: Govt blames ‘technical issues’ for internet outages Highlighting the local media's involvement, Solangi stated that Accreditation Cards had been processed for Pakistani media houses. Thus far, 6,065 journalists had been processed, including 1,200 from Lahore, 1,470 from Karachi, 1,050 from Peshawar, 600 from Quetta, 355 from Hyderabad, 250 from Faisalabad, and 290 from Multan. Cases involving media intending to cover cities beyond Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi would be examined on a case-by-case basis in consultation with relevant ministries. Regarding visa applications, Solangi mentioned that although the deadline of January 20 had passed, the Election Commission of Pakistan and Ministry of Information were still accepting visa requests. These requests would be processed on a case-by-case basis. Executive Director General EP Wing, Ambreen Jan, informed the media that visa applications for election coverage had been received from 14 countries. Out of a total of 81 foreign journalists who applied for visas, 49 had been issued visas, and the rest were under process. She also highlighted the issuance of a Code of Conduct for international media and observers by the ECP, emphasising that the number of applications for International Election Observers stood at 55. Responding to security concerns, Solangi reassured that the state would take necessary measures to protect its citizens, including providing security to foreign journalists and observers. He concluded by stating that the Press Information Department would establish a media cell for election coverage to offer facilities to the media, with a 24-hour election cell operational in the EP Wing to cater to foreign journalists.
    Published Date: 23-Jan-2024
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