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Pakistan

International observers to monitor, cover general elections: Info Minister

  • Murtaza Solangi says forty-nine visas have so far been issued to foreign journalists whilst thirty-two are under process
Published January 23, 2024

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

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

Sharing details of the applications being processed, the Information Minister said that forty-nine visas have so far been issued to 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 are already present 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 countries.

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

Giving a city-wise break-, 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 foreign journalists and observers.

The Executive DG EP Wing said a media cell will be established at the office of the 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.

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