"This kind of practice opens up the possibility of the administration remaining hostage to shadowy 'state within the state' elements, the newspaper said."
Islamabad, May 16 - The Pakistan government needs to make its position clear now as to why two Indian journalists have been asked to leave the country, a leading Pakistani daily said Friday.

Snehesh Alex Philip of the Press Trust of India (PTI) and Meena Menon of The Hindu newspaper were told to leave the country by May 20.

It is unfortunate that the state resorts to expelling foreign journalists for unexplained reasons, and in such an ungracious manner, the Dawn said in its editorial.

Both were first curtly told over the phone that their visas would not be renewed and they would have to leave by May 20; the official, written communication was delivered only later, it said.

Philip and Menon, both of whom arrived here last August, ironically after their predecessors were packed off in similar fashion, now find themselves in a quandary, the editorial said.

It has just been a year, after all, that the New York Times' Pakistan correspondent, Declan Walsh, was similarly asked to leave at short notice, the newspaper pointed out.

It said in the case of India and Pakistan, the practice results in even more damaging consequences.

This kind of practice opens up the possibility of the administration remaining hostage to shadowy 'state within the state' elements, the newspaper said.

It is was time that Pakistan's information ministry made its position clear as to why the two Indian journalists have been asked to leave, it said.


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