Pakistan tells Indian journalists to leave within a week

ISLAMABAD Wed May 14, 2014 10:30pm IST

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan has told both Indian journalists stationed in Islamabad to leave within a week, the two said on Wednesday, and New Delhi criticised this as a retrograde step that would weigh on confidence-building measures between the nuclear-armed rivals.

Tensions are simmering between Pakistan's powerful military and a civilian government that appears dovish towards neighbouring India, where Hindu nationalist opposition leader Narendra Modi appears set to win a general election.

Late on Tuesday night, Snehesh Alex Philip of The Press Trust of India and Meena Menon of The Hindu received letters telling them that their visas would not be renewed, the journalists told Reuters on Wednesday. They said no reason was given. Both had been in Pakistan for less than a year.

"‚ÄčIt is regrettable and unfortunate that the two Indian correspondents in Pakistan have been asked to leave prematurely and suddenly only a few months after their arrival there," Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said.

Pakistani authorities did not return calls seeking comment.

Pakistan has become an increasingly dangerous place for journalists to operate, but restrictions put on the movements of Indian reporters are stricter than those applied to other foreign journalists.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has repeatedly said publicly that he wants to improve relations with India and has pledged to improve press freedoms. But Pakistan's military remains deeply suspicious of both journalists and India.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since they became separate countries on independence from Britain in 1947. Their governments have a reciprocal deal allowing two correspondents from each country to be stationed in the other's capital.

Pakistani journalists face much greater threats than foreigners, however. At least 34 Pakistani journalists have been killed for their work since Pakistan returned to democracy in 2008, but in only one case has the killer been convicted.

Pakistan's feared military spy agency has been implicated in numerous cases of abductions, torture and killings, an Amnesty International report said last month.

The defence ministry demanded in April that Geo TV, the country's most popular channel, be shut down after it aired accusations that the spy agency was responsible for the shooting of one of its top news anchors.

Last year, the Islamabad government expelled a reporter from The New York Times.

(Additional reporting by Sruthi Gottipati and Krishna N Das in Delhi; Writing by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

BACK IN JAIL

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Modi Hurdle

Modi Hurdle

Appointment of Arvind Subramanian as chief economic adviser hits Modi hurdle.  Full Article 

USL Board

USL Board

Diageo bars United Breweries from appointing independent director at United Spirits.  Full Article 

Amazon in India

Amazon in India

Amazon to sell packaged food and beverages in India - Economic Times.  Full Article 

iOS 8 Issue

iOS 8 Issue

iOS 8 causing Bluetooth connectivity issues - Apple news blog  Full Article 

NYT Job Cut

NYT Job Cut

New York Times to cut jobs as new products disappoint  Full Article 

Factory Activity

Factory Activity

Factories expand at slowest pace this year in September  Full Article 

Monetary Policy

Monetary Policy

RBI not biased towards either raising or cutting rates - Rajan  Full Article 

Weak Demand

Weak Demand

Weak demand hits factory activity across Asia, Europe  Full Article 

Pimco Fund

Pimco Fund

Pimco Total Return Fund posts record $23.5 bln net outflow in Sept  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage