Pak refuses visa to The Hindu journalist
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Praveen Swami, Resident Editor of The Hindu, was denied visa by the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi on Thursday. He was a member of the media delegation accompanying External Affairs Minister S M Krishna to Pakistan for the foreign minister-level talks on September 8.
Swami, who writes on strategic and security issues, had won the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award for the year 2005-06 — in the "Journalist of the year (print)" category— for his "extensive and in-depth reports on terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, and investigations into the merchants of terror".
When contacted, Siddharth Varadarajan, Editor of The Hindu, said the Pakistan High Commission communicated to him that if the newspaper nominates someone else, he or she will be granted a visa. "This was an offer we refused. It is not acceptable for anyone to dictate who we can send to cover a story," Varadarajan said.
This was the first time that Swami had applied for a visa to visit Pakistan, and he was called by the Pakistan High Commission early this week for a meeting.
What is interesting is that Swami's passport had been stamped a visa, but then it was crossed and cancelled.
The Pakistan High Commission spokesperson was not available for comment.
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