37 British journalists receive visas for coverage of Pakistan elections
International observers, invited by the caretaker government, are poised to monitor the general elections on February 8, a group that includes numerous foreign journalists granted visas for coverage of the polls.
The government asserts that the issuance of these visas underscores its commitment to ensuring free and fair elections in accordance with constitutional mandates. A source closely involved with the matter emphasizes the dedication of the caretaker government and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to conducting elections with fairness and adherence to constitutional mandates.
As Pakistan approaches the general elections on February 8, a prompt and democratic power transition is anticipated. The state institutions remain steadfast in guaranteeing free and fair elections, fulfilling their roles within the constitutional parameters outlined by the government, according to a senior government source.
Simultaneously, the Pakistan High Commission in London has approved visas for 37 British journalists, including prominent figures such as The Times’ Christina Lamb, for comprehensive coverage of the upcoming general elections. Notably, Lamb, previously deported from Pakistan and denied visas over several years, is part of the journalist delegation. Teams from CNN, Sky, BBC, ITV, The Telegraph, and Channel 4 News are also en route to Pakistan to cover the electoral proceedings.
The list of 37 journalists, seen by Geo News, includes prominent figures from various media outlets, all contributing to ensuring the conduct of free and fair elections, as per the directives of the Pakistani government.
Careful processing of visa applications and accreditation cards for foreign media and their Pakistani staff has been ongoing, reflecting a meticulous approach to facilitating coverage of the elections. The caretaker Federal Minister for Information, Murtaza Solangi, mentioned the issuance of 49 visas for Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi, with 32 requests still being processed. Challenges in the manual visa system in India have contributed to delays.
Ambreen Jan, the Press Information Department executive director general for the External Publicity Wing, noted that visa applications for election coverage were received from 14 countries, with a total of 81 foreign journalists applying. Of these, 49 visas have been issued, while the remaining applications are currently under processing. Additionally, there are 55 applications for International Election Observers.
Source: Minute Mirror