Int'l observers & journalists to monitor, cover general elections: Info Minister
January 23, 2024

 January 23, 2024

Caretaker Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi has said that international observers and journalists will visit Pakistan to monitor and cover general elections to be held on the 8th of next month.    

He was addressing a news conference along with Secretary Information Shahera Shahid, Director General Radio Pakistan Saeed Ahmed Sheikh and Executive Director General External Publicity Wing Ambreen Jan in Islamabad today.

Sharing details of the applications being processed, the Information Minister said that forty-nine visas have so far issued to the foreign journalists whilst thirty-two are under process.

He said Pakistan's High Commission in India has also received twenty-four applications which are being processed.

The Information Minister said that a total of one hundred and seventy-four applications from various foreign media outlets have been received.

He mentioned that several international media outlets including CNN, BBC, DW and those of Japan have already presence in Pakistan and they will be covering the elections on National and Provincial Assemblies' seats.

Murtaza Solangi said the applications submitted by the foreign observers are also being processed. He said twenty-five applications have been received from Britain, eight from Russia, thirteen from Japan, five from Canada, two from South Africa and five from Commonwealth.

He said that international journalists and observers are being given permission letters for monitoring and coverage of the electoral process in three big cities of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. He, however said if a foreign journalist wants to visit any other city, his case will be processed on case- by-case basis.

The Information Minister said local journalists are being provided with accreditation cards for coverage of the general elections.

He said six thousand and sixty-five accreditation cards have so far been issued to the local journalists across the country.

Giving a city wise break- up, Murtaza Solangi said twelve hundred cards have been issued in Lahore, one thousand four hundred seventy in Karachi, one thousand fifty in Peshawar, six hundred in Quetta, three hundred fifty five in Hyderabad, two hundred fifty in Faisalabad and two hundred ninety in Multan.

Responding to a question, the Information Minister said it is the responsibility of the state to provide security to its citizens and we will also be providing security to the foreign journalists and observers.

Executive Director General EP Wing Ambreen Jan, in her remarks, said we have received requests from fourteen countries for their journalists and observers to be allowed coverage of the elections.

She said the Election Commission has also issued a code of conduct for the foreign journalists and observers.

The Executive DG EP Wing said a media cell will be established at the office of Press Information Officer where all facilities will be provided to the foreign observers and journalists.

She said a cell at EP Wing has also been established for the issuance of accreditation cards to the journalists.