Indian and Pakistan scribes seek end to travel restrictions

Journalists from India and Pakistan have sought an end to communications and travel restrictions between the two neighbours, saying the "archaic" rule made comprehensive and truthful reporting impossible.

The demands were made in a joint declaration signed by the Mumbai Press Club (MPC) and Karachi Press Club (KPC) at the end of a week-long visit by a 14-member delegation of Indian journalists to Pakistan yesterday.

The delegation of Indian journalists arrived in Pakistan on November 23 under an exchange programme which also included visit to Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.

The declaration said the severe travel restrictions imposed on journalists have made comprehensive and truthful reporting impossible, Daily Times reported today.

The journalists said the restrictions on distribution of print editions of publications imposed by both countries are "archaic and restrictive", especially since the Internet

editions were freely available throughout the globe.

They asked both governments to remove the restrictions. The KPC and MPC had signed an MoU two years ago to set up fraternal links and also released a set of objectives that included improving media communication and exchange of journalists between the two countries.

After reviewing the two-year process, the representatives of KPC and MPC said while the journalists exchange programme was on the course, the governments of the two countries had done little to improve media communication and remove barriers for journalists.

They demanded from their respective governments to take immediate steps and implement the same in this regard.

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