India, Pakistan agree to lift restrictions on journalists
By Iftikhar Gilani
NEW DELHI: India and Pakistan on Tuesday announced several measures to facilitate interaction of journalists and exchange of newspapers and magazines.
Addressing a reception hosted by Indian chapter of the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA), foreign ministers of India and Pakistan promised to lift restrictions on free flow of information.
Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh said that India would remove visa restrictions on Pakistani journalists intending to visit India. India’s National Security Advisor JN Dixit was also present. To thunderous applause, Singh said he along with Dixit would persuade Home Minister Shivraj Patil to make the announcement a reality. He said Pakistani journalists could visit India and go anywhere without taking permission from security agencies and that they would be exempt from reporting to the police.
Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri promised to reciprocate gestures by the Indian government. “This will make things easier in Islamabad. I will try my best to take the matter up with our Interior Ministry,” Mr Kasuri said. Both foreign ministers also promised to include SAFMA in the list of bodies recognized by the SAARC Secretariat.