January 2004 News

Kashmiri journalists denied visas for Islamabad

2 January 2004
The Daily Times
Iftikhar Gilani

NEW DELHI: The Pakistan high commission in New Delhi has denied a visa to Kashmiri journalist intending to cover the SAARC summit in Islamabad.Sushil Vakil, editor of Daily Samachar Post and Weekly Kashur Gazette was told by the External Affairs Ministry that the Pakistani high commission had returned his passport without visa and therefore he wouldn't able to join his colleagues who arrived in Islamabad by Indian airlines flight on Friday.The ministry had even booked a room for Mr Vakil in Holiday Inn and also issued him an air ticket.Mr Vakil is the son of a veteran Kashmiri journalist and political activist late Poshkar Nath Vakil. He moved to the Indian capital owing to the insurgency in Held Kashmir in 1990. Samachar Post was the only English daily published from Srinagar. Reportedly, two other Kashmiri journalists Harbans Singh and Bashir Manzar have also been refused visas. Talking to Daily Times, Mr Vakil lamented the denial of visa to him. He said it was a pity that on one hand both countries were talking of peace but on the other putting such restrictions. He said peace efforts should benefit Kashmiris.


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