March 17, 2016
ISLAMABAD: Not telling the National Assembly names of media persons who have accompanied the prime minister on foreign trips, the Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid Wednesday maintained journalists from “private media” bore their own expenses to cover these visits.
MQM’s Syed Waseem asked the minister about journalists of print and electronic media who went with the prime minister on his official visits abroad in 2013-14 and also inquired about the criteria adopted for selection of those journalists.
The question which was originally asked during the previous session of the National Assembly still remained unanswered as the minister did not disclose the names of journalists.
Quoting a letter from the Prime Minister House in June 2013, the information minister claimed “in order to promote considerations of austerity and transparency, it was decided that private media persons would only be facilitated during the foreign visits at their own expense.”
However, he added the government did facilitate these journalists in getting “visas, arrangement of boarding/lodging and procurement of entry passes”. The minister concluded that “in pursuance of the directions, no private media accompanied the Prime Minister during his official visits abroad during 2013-14.”
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