It was on MEA’s invitation that “The Hindu” nominated him to accompany Krishna

Pakistan refused a visa to The Hindu’s Praveen Swami, who was to have travelled with the media delegation accompanying External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on his two-day visit to Islamabad that began on Friday.

The Pakistan High Commission gave no reasons for turning down Mr. Swami’s visa application.

The Hindu’s Editor, Siddharth Varadarajan, said it had been conveyed to him on Thursday that the newspaper could nominate another reporter, and the Pakistan High Commission would arrange the visa for the substitute immediately.

“We refused the offer. It is not acceptable for anyone to dictate who we can send to cover a story,” Mr. Varadarajan said.

It was on an invitation from the Ministry of External Affairs in August that the newspaper nominated Mr. Swami, the Resident Editor of the newspaper in Delhi, to go with Mr. Krishna.

After submitting the documents required for the visa, Mr. Swami was invited to the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi earlier this week for a meeting with the official in charge of media relations.

According to him, there was nothing about the meeting that led him to believe that he would not be given a visa.

On Thursday, Mr. Swami heard from the MEA that he had been denied the visa. His passport showed that he had been granted a visa initially, but the word “CANCELLED” was stamped across the page.

As many as 60 journalists have accompanied Mr. Krishna to Islamabad. The Hindu is the only organisation whose nominee did not get a visa.

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