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Peace activists asks government to review decision asking two Indian journalists to leave Pakistan

15 May 2014

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Peace activists asks government to review decision asking two Indian journalists to leave Pakistan

KARACHI, May 15, 2014: Founding members of Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) Karamat Ali and B. M. Kutty on Thursday called upon the Pakistan government to reconsider the decision to two Indian journalists to leave Pakistan and withdraw the decision, as it is only going to help undermine its own publicly announced policy of turning a new leaf in Pakistan-India relations.

In a joint statement issued here both the founder members of PIPFPD stated that the reported decision of the Government of Pakistan to ask two Indian journalists, Ms. Meena Menon, representing the popular Indian newspaper The Hindu, and Mr. Snehesh Alex Philip representing India’s premier news agency Press Trust of India, to leave Pakistan, has come as a disturbing surprise in the context of the PML-N Government’s professed commitment to not only expanding trade relations with India but also easing travel restrictions and improving the overall level of inter-state ties. According to one report published in a Pakistani newspaper today, “no reason was given for this decision”.

At a time when India’s general elections have just concluded and the possibility of a new government led by BJP, whose policy trends towards Pakistan are yet to crystallize, is very much in the air, this kind of a decision by Pakistan government is undoubtedly going to send a very wrong message to the incoming government in India. Soon, we on this side may find our media representatives posted in New Delhi under the existing reciprocal arrangement being asked to leave India as the tit-for-tat response from that side.

It is very unfortunate that Pakistan-India relations have for so many decades followed a path of one step forward, two steps backward. We have seen such avoidable acts by the two governments result in the inter-state relations, so painstakingly built brick by brick over the years, come crashing down more than once in the past, with all its pernicious consequences to peace and stability in South Asia.