Not granted special permit to report in Kashmir, says Washington Post bureau chief

Washington Post Bureau chief Annie Gowan Pic courtesy: Twitter

Bureau chief of Washington Post for India, Annie Gowen on Tuesday said that she was not granted a special permit to report in Kashmir by ministry of external affairs despite her applying for the same on June 22.

Following a ministry of external affairs directive foreign  journalists are required to acquire a special permit to report Kashmir.

Gowen said that she was not granted the permit despite her applying for the same on June 22. Though Gowen is in Kashmir, she however, is not in the valley for reporting but attending a marriage party of her friend.

Taking to her twitter handle Gowen wrote, “I am in Kashmir for a day to attend a friend’s wedding. I am not reporting here because @MEAIndia and @HMOIndia have not granted the special permit now required for foreign correspondents. I applied June 22. Unacceptable delay. @rcfp @CJR @hrw @RSF_en.

National conference spokesman Tanvir Sadiq was among many Kashmiris who expressed their dissatisfaction over the diktat. Sadiq welcomed Gowen and blamed PDP for the rule, “ Welcome to Kashmir! Only if New Delhi and it’s proxies had not mishandled Kashmir, things wouldn’t have come to this pass. Enjoy,” Sadiq replied to Gowen’s tweet.

She added that the centre was going to hold meeting to discuss restrictions on reporting in Kashmir. “The @FCCNewDelhi is meeting with @MEAIndia to discuss the restrictions on reporting in Kashmir for foreign correspondents tomorrow I’m told.”

On July 21  the central government  issued an “advisory” for foreign correspondents working in India, asking them not to visit Jammu and Kashmir without prior permission.

According to the reports the advisory issued by the Ministry of External Affairs was to remind the foreign journalists of a “dormant rule” that prohibits them from traveling to certain areas, including parts of Jammu and Kashmir, without permission of the government.

 

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