Newsmen barred from Ideas
KARACHI- A large number of journalists holding valid security passes for the coverage of the inaugurated ‘IDEAS 2002′ Arms for Peace’ defence exhibition by President Pervez Musharraf on September 16th were refused entry by the military personnel posted there.
At the security checkpoint, the military personnel refused to acknowledge the passes issued by the Special Branch of the Sindh Police.
The passes – bearing photographs and other relevant details of the journalists – were issued after a big hassle and after clearance by the security agencies concerned.
Even the two senior Press Information Department (PID) officials, who had escorted the journalists to the venue, were not let in, and their persuasion fell on deaf ears.
When the senior official of the PID failed to convince them, the journalists had no option but to return. The PID officials tried via cell phone to contact senior Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) officials to explain the situation, who advised them to “wait” for some time. Journalists were made to “wait” for about half an hour in front of the main gate of the National Stadium, but in vain.
The military personnel said they only recognized the passes issued by the management with the clearance of the ISPR.
This is not the first time that journalists were humiliated owing to the lack of coordination between different agencies. Those journalists who were refused entry represented Dawn, Jang, Daily Times, Kawish, APP, PPI, Jasarat, and some other newspapers and agencies.