Indian news channel Times Now has been reportedly denied visa for Pakistan to cover the foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj’s visit to the neighbouring country.
The channel has reacted angrily to the development by accusing Pakistan for avenging its continued unfavourable coverage against the country.
Speaking to jantakareporter.com, the channel’s editor-in-chief and also the host of popular debate show, Newshour, Arnab Goswami, said that Pakistan’s decision was ‘unacceptable.’
Expressing his outrage on the development, Goswami said, “You see, it’s unacceptable that he largest and the most watched news channel has been refused access into Pakistan to cover our own foreign minister’s visit to the country. This is deliberate, it’s selective and it’s a way to punish us for the independent line we have vis a vis Pakistan. Whatever line we have vis a vis Pakistan’s support to terrorism is our independent line and we are not accountable to anyone in the Pakistan High Commission for it.”
Goswami added that many other ‘smaller’ Indian news channels had been given visa while the Times Now had been ‘selectively denied.’
“To be denied when our own foreign minister is visiting is absurd. Tomorrow, if the Indian prime minister was to travel to Pakistan for the SAARC summit, will they deny Indian’s largest news channel the access to Pakistan?Is there no basic courtesy that needs to be maintained in order to ensure that the channels have free access into Pakistan to cover our own leaders going there? It’s very strange. I’m disappointed and I hope this is something they will reconsider although this time it may be too late,” He added.
When asked to comment as to why he thought other Indian channels had not expressed their solidarity with Times Now on being meted out this treatment, Goswami said that it was up to them to take a call on this matter.