Indo-Pak politicians, experts pitch for joint TV channel

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New Delhi, Mar 8: Politicians and subject experts from India and Pakistan today pitched for a joint Indo-Pak TV channel saying it could help create an "unprecedented" improvement in mutual perceptions and bilateral relations.

They also welcomed the recent high-level sharing of intelligence by the two countries on potential terror activities and hoped the move will help build trust and eliminate terrorism.


During the third round of 'Pakistan-India Legislators and Public Officials Dialogue on Sharing of Experiences on Governance and Democracy' organised here, the participants discussed role of media in India-Pakistan relationship and policing system in the two countries.

Among key suggestions, they pitched for pursuing the prospect of a jointly owned India-Pakistan TV channel, possibly located in Dubai, to see it engenders an "unprecedented" improvement in mutual perceptions and bilateral relations.

The day-long dialogue was organised by Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) along with Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS).

"Dialogue participants welcome the recent high-level sharing of intelligence information by Pakistan with India to alert the Indian government against potential terrorist activities.

"They hoped that this becomes the first of a series of confidence-building measures to build trust and goodwill, and eliminating terrorism," a joint statement issued by the participants said.

Observing that there is "tendency in a few media houses" from the both the countries to be "shrill and jingoistic" (in their reportage), the delegations from both the sides deplored the same and sought to address the issue.

The participants expressed concern that fringe elements are "wrongly" given more space than warranted in media in both the countries.

"More often than not, news media's unquestioning reflection of their own government's foreign and defence policies stance hampers the expression of independent perspectives," the statement read.

The participants noted that "lack of access" for media to locations in the other country and obstacles in obtaining visas for journalists of both the countries were hampering an "informed" portrayal of each country.

In this regard, they insisted both the governments put in place policies ensuring ease of access, travel and reporting by scribes from the two countries.

"Specific proposals (during the meeting) included visa- free access without city restrictions and for setting up of media lounges at Pakistan-India border posts to facilitate regular interaction and engagement between Pakistani and Indian media representatives without the need to obtain visas," it added.


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