Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Incorrect News Report in Daily Times, Karachi, about a "Denied Visa"

On 26th November 2007, the Daily Times, Karachi, published a story titled "Indian who made documentary on Pakistani classical music denied visa" (written by Arif Aligi). This story was about my documentary film Khayal Darpan which was screened on 24th Nov at an NGO called Sampurna in Karachi. The title of the news is totally misleading since I was never supposed to visit Karachi this time nor had I applied for the Pakistani visa in the recent times. The reporter of the Daily Times presumed or was given wrong impression that I didn't visit since I couldn't get visa. Although he phoned me to interview about the film, but never bothered to clarify about the visa. This incorrect news comes not only at a politically sensitive time, but has also been quoted verbatim by a large number of newspapers in India (and some abroad) including Indian Express, the Times of India, The Hindu, Dainik Jagran (Hindi), Thai Times, DNA, The Telegraph, and so on. Some of them even added their own spicy comments, including the fact that "an Indian filmmaker who rejuvinated the dying Pakistani music denied visa"! All this has been extremely embarrasing and agonizing for me. It even puts my future prospects of applying for the Pakistani visa and visiting the country in jeopardy. And besides my frustation, why should one even blame the government authorities for something they didn't do.

My film is about music and culture and I have no intentions to create any controversies. Hence, I request the Daily Times to issue a corrigendum about this serious error urgently, and correct this mistakes on its online edition, as well as issue a notification to all the other periodicals or news agencies who have quoted this story to rectify the mistake. I hope that the reporter of the Daily Times would act more responsibly the next time.

Yousuf Saeed