JKPA decides not to meet PCI members visiting Kashmir

JKPA decides not to meet PCI members visiting Kashmir

Srinagar: Jammu (JKPA) has decided not to meet Press Council of India (PCI) members, who are on a visit to Kashmir valley, alleging that no action was taken by the council on the memorandums submitted by it in previous meetings.

‘We received an invitation from the PCI members to meet them today in Srinagar,’ JKPA president Ghulam Hassan Kaloo said in a statement issued here on Saturday.

However, he said the JKPA members decided not to meet the PCI delegation, which is currently visiting Kashmir. “We have sent a letter to PCI informing it about our decision,” he added.

‘The Executive Members of JKPA are conscious of the fact that the PCI is the self-regulatory watchdog of the Press that operates under the Press Council Act of 1978 and has been safeguarding interests of Journalists countrywide in a big way,’ JKPA said in a letter sent to the PCI chairman.

‘But we regretfully bring to your kind notice that no delegation of the PCI visited Kashmir Valley when it was struck by an unprecedented tumultuous situation in 1989 and in the process, some of our Journalists lost their precious lives and many others faced humiliation of the worst order,’ it alleged.

The letter said it was in June, 2012, after a gap of 22 years, that a PCI delegation chose to visit Kashmir Valley when situation had almost stabilised. ‘Later, the PCI delegations visited Kashmir Valley in July, 2017, October, 2017 and in July, 2018,’ he added.

It said the JKPA members interacted with them and presented Memoranda on all occasions, but no action was taken on our issues despite repeated assurances. ‘This establishes beyond any shadow of doubt that our meetings yielded no positive dividends. It will not be an exaggeration if we say that all such meetings were exercises in futility. This is the reason that JKPA members decided not to meet the delegates presently on tour to Kashmir Valley,’ the letter said.

However, it said JKPA place on record deep appreciation for showing concern by Justice Katju, the former Chairman PCI, when Kashmir Valley was overtaken by a major Flood in 2014. ‘We were invited by the PCI to New Delhi where a seminar was organised which was presided over by Late Jethmalani and attended by eminent personalities of India. No doubt, the PCI has been taking action on our communications from time to time regarding some cases of harassment caused to our Journalists on different occasions for which we are indebted to it,’ he added.