Travails of The Hindu
ISLAMABAD: After 20 years of unbroken coverage from Islamabad, India’s liberal and moderate newspaper The Hindu will be without its regular correspondent in Pakistan because of visa related issues that sadly cloud people-to-people relations between the two countries.
Nirupama Subramanian, the outgoing correspondent of the paper, is leaving Pakistan on February 17 (today) after completing her four eventful years in Islamabad as her replacement sits waiting for a visa at home.
The management of the newspaper has chosen Anita Joshua for the challenging job in Islamabad to succeed Ms Subramanian; however, the Pakistan High Commission in Delhi is yet to grant her the required visa.
Talking to Dawn, Ms Subramanian described her experience in Pakistan both as exciting and satisfying. “Four years ago, I came here from Sri Lanka where there was only one story: army’s fight against Tamil rebels. But here in Pakistan hundreds of stories were there to be covered. It was a big learning curve in my professional life and I don’t think can get such an experience anywhere else in the world”.
“At the same time it is quite upsetting to leave Pakistan, not knowing when I will be able to come back to meet my Pakistani friends who were always there to help me,” she added.
About her successor, Mr Subramanian said she was yet to receive her visa which was really a sad development for the newspaper because since 1990 The Hindu had been regularly posting its correspondents in Islamabad. With upcoming foreign secretary level talks between India and Pakistan there is so much to write about, but in the absence of its own correspondent in Islamabad, The Hindu’s readers would be missing first-hand information.