During the seminar, media persons from Mumbai and Karachi press clubs have called for liberalised visa regime for journalists from both countries to ensure free exchange of information.
The 14-member media delegation from Karachi and Hyderabad (Sindh) is participating in the seminar. The Pakistani media team arrived yesterday for a week-long visit. A 22 member delegation from Mumbai Press club had visited Karachi and Hyderabad in November last year, the release issued by the Mumbai Press Club said.
Tahir Hasan Khan, senior reporter of 'The News' and president of the Karachi Press Club said governments of both countries should give multiple entry visas to journalists for at least one year so that they can travel frequently.
Stressing the need for removal of media restrictions, Jatin Desai of Mumbai Press Club said currently only two journalists of other country are allowed to operate in the host country.
'Journalists of 'The Hindu' and PTI have to function from Islamabad and have to take permissions to travel even to Rawalpindi. Similarly, reporters from Pakistan stationed in Delhi cannot travel easily to places like Noida and Gurgaon,' he said.
Tahir Hasan Khan said if the two countries are considering providing multiple entry visas for businessmen of the two countries, the same should be done for journalists since it would create conducive atmosphere for enduring peace.
Fazil Jamili, editor Internet, Jang group of newspapers and the vice president of the Karachi press club, said the bitterness of the partition and the bloodshed that followed has ceased to exist in the new generation of Pakistani journalists.
'We are a liberal media now and the language of hatred is not used while reporting even though it exists in columns and editorials of right wing newspapers,' he said.
The language of hatred came from the government text books which has gradually stopped, he said.
Activist Karamat Ali said the media of the two countries would do a great service if they stop publishing and using language which promotes enemity like referring to each other as 'enemies' or even 'traditional rivals'.
Mumbai Press Club president Gurbir Singh suggested setting of a media working group to pressurise the governments of the two countries to allow free flow of information.
It was also agreed to bring on board Press Clubs from other cities of both countries in the information exchange programme.
There are sizeable number of women in Pakistani media. 'Even though fewer are seen on field reporting because of irregular working hours, there were large number of them on the desk and magazines,' Jamili said.
Shamim Shaikh, senior reporter of 'The News International', said she has been a journalist for 22 years covering courts and religious parties. 'I have not faced problems and even religious parties are accepting the fact that there are large number of women in the journalism field,' she added.
Tahir Hassan Khan said out of the 1,500 members of the Karachi press club, there were more than 250 women.
The delegation represents leading newspapers and television channels
'The purpose of the visit is to promote a philosophy of understanding and tolerance between the two countries by increasing and improving the quality of media content when reporting on each other's country and bilateral issues.
This is expected to give a boost to the peace process between the two countries,' president of the Mumbai Press Club Gurbir Singh said.
The delegation is also scheduled to meet Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and state Home Minister R R Patil. They will also visit the BSE as well as a couple of newspapers and news channel offices.
On the evening of May 26, they would proceed to Pune where
they would visit a media house besides attending events hosted by
Sarhad, a prominent NGO from Pune, which is working for Indo-Pak peace.