Nation wants to know: Why Times Now was denied Pakistan visa


New Delhi: The reporters of Mumbai-based Indian news channel Times Now were allegedly denied a visa for Pakistan to cover the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Islamabad for a conference on Afghanistan.

Known in the Islamic Republic for its alleged ‘anti-Pakistan’ stance and ‘unfavourable’ coverage, Times Now has reacted angrily to the development.

Following Pakistan’s decision in this regard, the channel’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami slammed the Islamic Republic, saying that Times Now was being punished for asking ‘tough and uncomfortable questions’.

The channel rued that Pakistani government granted the visa to other Indian channels, singling out Times Now for this ‘discriminatory treatment’.

India and Pakistan are set to hold the third bilateral engagement at the top level in less than 10 days with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj reaching Islamabad on Tuesday for a conference on Afghanistan.

While speaking to reporters in the Pakistani capital, Swaraj said that it was necessary and appropriate for her to hold talks with PM Nawaz Sharif and his Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.

Following an impromptu meeting between Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif in Paris on the margins of a global climate change conference on November 30, the national security advisers of the two sides met in Bangkok on December 6 and discussed all major issues, including Kashmir.

Swaraj is expected to take this process forward during her likely meetings with Pakistan Prime Minister Sharif and his Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on the margins of what is called the 5th Ministerial Conference on Heart of Asia Istanbul Process.

This is also the first ministerial visit from India to its South Asian neighbor since the then external affairs minister S M Krishna went to Pakistan in 2012.

(With inputs from agencies)