Peace council bars media from press conference
KABUL (PAN): The High Peace Council’s move to bar some media outlets from covering its news conference and permitting selected television channels irked the journalists who waited to report the event.
Council Chairman Salahuddin Rabani scheduled a press conference for Saturday at the media centre in Kabul, where only few visual media representatives were allowed coverage.
A Pajhwok reporter, who wanted to report the press briefing, failed to enter the venue, because the news agency was not the list of the council's favourite media outlets.
A guard at the venue, holding a list of TV channels, remarked: “Are you from a TV channel? If not, there is no permission for you to enter because we allow only few TV channels that are on the list.”
Deputy head of the media centre, Sifatullah Safi, could not help the Pajhwok reporter either and said: “We aren't the organisers, but I will still try to find a way to allow you to enter the place."
Head of the media centre, Dr. Abdul Hakim Ashir, told a BBC reporter the gathering had been organised by the peace council and they had no authority to permit reporters.
The council should not differentiate between media outlets; instead it should allow all news organisations to cover the gathering, remarked BBC reporter Hafizullah Maroof.
Another reporter from the Killid Group, Abu Bakar, also denounced the behaviour of the council and asked the Ministry of Information and Culture to query the it over barring journalists.
But deputy international affairs head of the council, Mohammad Ismail Qasimyar, insisted they did not discriminate against any media organisations and the council’ secretariat should be held answerable for Saturday’s fiasco.
When Pajhwok contacted the secretariat, a person there introduced himself as the head of the department and said: “I am in a meeting and call me in the afternoon.”
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