Washington Post India head awaits permission to cover Kashmir since June 22

Washington Post India head awaits permission to cover Kashmir since June 22

The Government of India recently asked foreign correspondents to seek permission in writing for travelling anywhere in Jammu and Kashmir, a move reminiscent of the early 1990s when the Indian government made it impossible for foreign journalists to report from the valley.

Washington Post’s India bureau chief Annie Gowen has been denied permission to report on Kashmir, she tweeted on Tuesday.

The Government of India recently asked foreign correspondents to seek permission in writing for travelling anywhere in Jammu and Kashmir, a move reminiscent of the early 1990s when the Indian government made it impossible for foreign journalists to report from the valley.

Gowen said she had applied for permission on June 22 and called the delay “unacceptable”. 

“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,” she wrote on her twitter page.

Gowen has tagged Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and Columbia Journalism Review.

National conference spokesman Tanvir Sadiq was among many Kashmiris who expressed their dissatisfaction over the move to deny Gowen permission to report Kashmir. 

 “Welcome to Kashmir! Only if New Delhi and its proxies had not mishandled Kashmir, things wouldn’t have come to this pass. Enjoy,” Sadiq replied to Gowan’s tweet.

She also wrote on Twitter that the Foreign Correspondent’s Club in New Delhi will be holding a meeting with the ministry of external affairs 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 June22, the central government issued an advisory for foreign correspondents working in India, asking them not to visit Jammu and Kashmir without prior permission. 

“It has come to the notice of the ministry of external affairs that some foreign journalists based in India, while discharging their journalistic activities or for tourism purposes, have travelled to places which come under restricted/protected areas that require prior permission/special permit,” said the MEA letter .