49 foreign journalists / International media persons have been issued visas so far for coverage of Elections on Feb 8th: Solangi.
January 23, 2024

• 49 foreign journalists / International media persons have been issued visas so far for coverage of Elections on Feb 8th: Solangi.
• Caretaker Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting and Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Solangi said on Tuesday that certain elements were spreading rumours claiming “no foreign journalists and observers were coming to Pakistan for coverage of upcoming general elections” which was contrary to facts.
• He was addressing a press conference flanked by Secretary Information and Broadcasting Shahera Shahid, Executive Director General External Publicity Wing Ambreen Jan, Principal Information Officer Dr Tariq Mehmood and Director General Radio Pakistan Saeed Sheikh.
• Many international media persons have applied for visas to cover the elections, Murtaza Solangi said adding that 49 visas (for Islamabad Lahore and Karachi) have been issued as of today and 32 requests are under process and many other requests are still being received from different stations of the world.
• He added that these 32 visa applications for coverage of elections were under process which have been received in Pakistan High Commission New Delhi and are being processed because there is manual visa system in India for granting of visas.
• He said that so far 174 requests for ECP Accreditation Cards have been received and processed for foreign media representatives and their associated Pakistani staff who are based in Pakistan.
• Responding a question of media he added that so far 25 applications were under process from the UK alone, 08 from Russian Federation, 13 from Japan, 02 from South Africa while 05 from Common-Wealth under the category of International Observers.
• Meanwhile Accreditation Cards have also been processed for local Pakistani media houses, Murtaza Solangi said: so far 6,065 journalists have been processed including 1200 from Lahore, 1470 from Karachi, 1050 from Peshawar, 600 from Quetta, 355 from Hyderabad, 250 from Faisalabad and 290 from Multan.
• The cases where the media wishes to go and cover other cities, besides Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi, would be examined on case to case basis, in consultation with relevant Ministries.
• The minister said that even though the last date for application for visa of January 20 had already passed, the relevant institutions of the Election Commission of Pakistan and Ministry of Information were still receiving visa requests, which will be processed on case to case basis.
• Executive Director General EP Wing, Ambreen Jan said visa applications for election coverage were received from 14 countries.
• She added in total 81 foreign journalists applied for visas, out of which 49 have been issued visas while others were under process.
• She said that a Code of Conduct for international media and Observers has been issued by the ECP which had been shared with them. She said that the number of applications for International Election Observers was 55.
• To a question she said Press Information Department will set up a media cell for election coverage to provide facilities to the media and a 24-hour election cell will also be operational in the EP Wing to provide facilities to foreign journalists.
• Replying to a question, Murtaza Solangi said that it was responsibility of the state to protect its citizens and it would take necessary measures to provide security to foreign journalists and observers.