Karachi: A delegation of 22 journalists, members of the Press Club of Mumbai (PCM), is expected to visit Karachi and Hyderabad from November 14-21 at the invitation of the Karachi Press Club.
The idea behind the visit is to establish a sisterly relationship between the two old and active press clubs of the neighbouring countries. "There are many similarities between the cities of Mumbai and Karachi," says Jatin Desai, one of the organisers of the visit and the only one in the group who has visited Pakistan before.
"Karachi and Mumbai are financial capitals of their countries, developed along the sea, where trade is influenced by Gujarati-speaking people," he added. "We will be requesting the Karachi Press Club to visit Mumbai as soon as possible as we need to take this forward. Sensitising journalists of both countries is essential and we need to involve young journalists."
The journalists would like to have an internship programme, "where Mumbai newspersons can intern with a Karachi newspaper or TV channel and vice versa", said Desai.
The Karachi and Mumbai journalists have been trying to initiate formal relations between the two press clubs for the last two years but their efforts have been slowed down by the difficulty in obtaining visas. Members of the Lahore and Chandigarh press clubs, for example, have managed to visit each other over the past couple of years.
"Initially we were going to send a 15-member delegation but the response of the PCM members was beyond expectations," Desai told The News. "We informed our members (numbering around 1,500). More than 75 journalists applied and it was really difficult to select betwwen them. Finally we formed some criteria, such as a gender balance, journalists from different language media, photographers, electronic media, an understanding of Indo-Pak issues, and also young journalists. We've got together a good team. Even now I am getting phone calls from other members about the possibility of including them."
Each journalist has paid a deposit of Rs. 25,000/ towards travel and miscellaneous charges. Each delegate is expected to bear the cost of his/her travel, while the Karachi Press Club will look after local hospitality.
The November visit, co-hosted by the Pakistan Institute of Labour, Education and Research (PILER), includes a roundtable discussion on the role of SAARC in bringing South Asian people closer, meetings and receptions hosted by the chief minister, Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the MQM, as well as NGOs like the Fisherfolk Forum. The visiting journalists will also tour Karachi Univeristy, newspaper and television offices, the National Museum and Mohatta Palace.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
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