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Efforts on to send journalists for talks’ coverage

Efforts on to send journalists for talks’ coverage

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Sep 23, 2020 - 15:53

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Journalists and the Ministry of Information and Culture (MoIC) want inclusion of media representatives in the peace negotiating team and allowing reporters to travel to Qatar to cover the peace talks.

The State Ministry for Peace Affairs on Wednesday said efforts were underway to facilitate journalists to travel to Qatar back for coverage of the ongoing peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Talibaninfo-icon in the Qatari capital Doha.

Almost a week back, the Afghanistan Journalist Safety Committee (AJSC) said the government was obliged to allow journalists to return to Qatar for coverage of the peace talks.

Sediqullah Tawhid, AJSC head, had told a press conference in capital Kabul that a number of journalists who went to Qatar had returned due to lack of government’s cooperation.

He had said the journalists had no option but to return home leaving the rest of the peace process after they were told their five-day visa was expiring.

The keenly-anticipated peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban began in Doha on 12th of this ongoing month.

Led by former spymaster Masoom Stanikzai, the 21-member team of the government has been in Doha for direct talks with representatives of the militant movement.

On behalf of Kabul, Supreme Council for National Reconciliation Dr. Abdullah, Foreign Minister HanifAtmar, Minister of State for Peace Affairs Syed Sadat MansoorNaderi and presidential representative Abdul-Salam Rahimi attended the launching ceremony.

Abdul Manan Shawi Sharaq, a MoIC official, told a press conference here that the ministry had always supported journalists and efforts were underway to provide journalists with facilities to travel to Qatar for the coverage of peace talks.

He added the peace negotiating team must include media representatives to defend the freedom of expression.

According to him, media representatives feared that the freedom of expression and media’s achievements would be ignored in the peace talks.

He said, “The government should allow journalists to represent the media in peace coverage and peace talks in Qatar, and if it does not do so, it will be very dangerous for freedom of expression and the media.”

Najibi Auybi, the Kilid Group head, told the gathering that some people wanted to silence voices for freedom of expression, but silencing these voices was not easy.

Kabul News Director Jilani Zwak said the return of journalists from Qatar was an intentional effort.

According to him, most government officials in the government peace talks were unwilling to share updates with media representatives and asked the government to appoint a neutral person as spokesperson of the negotiating team to share information on peace developments with the people back in home.

Najia Anwari, the state ministry for peace affairs’ spokeswoman, told Pajhwok Afghan News that a list of 26 journalists had been shared with the ministry to provide them with technical assistance to travel to Qatar.

According to her, the list has been shared with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant organizations and visas for their travel to Qatar will be issued after the legal process.

pk/ma

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