Millennium Post

Indian, Pak scribes might cross border with ease

Indian and Pakistani journalists may soon find it easier to visit each other's countries as a delegation of senior officials from both sides have expressed the desire to ease visa norms to allow greater movement to media persons.

Sources said that in a recent meeting held in Islamabad that preceded External Affairs minister S M Krishna's visit there, senior officials of the two countries agreed that the media could play a pivotal role in building and enabling better ties and refraining from any hostile propaganda.

‘In the meeting of the India-Pakistan Joint Commission technical level working group on Information that was held in Islamabad, several areas for future collaboration between the two countries were identified,’ a well-placed source said.

‘One of the points which both sides felt was that there should be an easy visa regime for media persons. In addition, it was agreed that there should be a greater thrust on media- related exchange programmes,’ the source added.

The two countries were in favour of journalists exchange programme through Press Information Departments where the travelling expenses would be borne by nominating organisation while the local hospitality would be taken care of by the host country.

The two countries also favoured that the Associated Press of Pakistan and the News Service Division of All India Radio may be encouraged to devise a mechanism for facilitating exchange of news between them on real time basis.

The officials of India and Pakistan also agreed that steps be taken to encourage exchange of television and radio programmes of both the state and the private media.

Officials said seminars and workshops for media professionals could be held with the collaboration of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi, and the Department or Academy nominated by the Ministry of Information of Pakistan. Officials said Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, and Academies of Pakistan Television Corporation and Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation will also be encouraged to cooperate.
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