Pakistan to facilitate visas for journalists and media personnel in Afghanistan

This statement was originally published on on 16 August 2021.

Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) welcomes the Pakistan government’s move to facilitate the visas of journalists and media personnel in Afghanistan. We urge our partners to share the information with their networks to facilitate the safe exit of journalists in Afghanistan in the midst of the current uncertain times.

On August 15, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Mansoor Ahmad Khan said that visas for Afghan journalists and families were being specially facilitated in “this period of uncertainty”.

A WhatsApp number (00923222807683) for the press counsellor was provided, which media personnel requiring visas can contact, and as per Khan, will be facilitated.

In a tweet, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that the Pakistan press section in Kabul had received hundreds of visa applications from the international media. Chaudhry said to facilitate their evacuation from Kabul, a special cell had been created.

Amid the escalating situation in Afghanistan, as the Taliban gained ground over previously Afghan government-controlled territories, on August 13, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid had announced that in light of the evolving situation in Afghanistan, Pakistan had decided to ease its visa policy for journalists and media workers.

Rashid appealed to those international journalists and media workers who want to leave Afghanistan via Pakistan to apply for the Pakistani visa. The interior minister said that his ministry would issue these individuals visas on a priority basis.

Rashid said the decision to ease the visas was being taken by the Pakistani government, keeping in mind the protection of journalists and media workers working in Afghanistan.

PPF hopes that the facility will act as a resource to a safe passageway for members of the media in Afghanistan who are currently in need of a safe exit.

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Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) is a network of human rights journalists in Uganda working towards enhancing the promotion, protection and respect of human rights through defending and building the capacities of journalists, to effectively exercise their constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms for collective campaigning through the media.

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