This was the first time when India hosted the Asia Media Summit where broadcasters gather to share their view on a host of issues. The theme of the two-day summit this year was 'Telling Out Stories – Asia and More'.
A last-minute decision to withdraw noted Pakistani television and media personality Moneeza Hashmi’s name from the list of speakers at the 15th Asia Media Summit, which concluded in Delhi on Saturday, has sparked a fresh row. Moneeza, the daughter of well-known Urdu poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz, was slated to speak at the event on inaugural day on May 10 but her name was missing in the final list of speakers released by the government.
In a tweet, her son Ali Hashmi questioned the government over denial of permission to his mother. “This is your Shining India? My 72 years old mother, daughter of Faiz denied permission to participate in conference after being officially invited,” he said in a tweet which he also tagged to the Prime Minister’s Office and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
A report in The Times of India said that when the government was asked about the decision to withdraw Moneeza’s name from the list of speakers, it said it was unaware of any such development. The TOI report, citing a government spokesperson, said that final list of speakers was prepared by the Asia Pacific Institute of Broadcasting and Development.
“I am not aware of such a thing having happened. India was only hosting the event. The list of speakers was finalised by the Asia Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development. Only they would know,” Sitanshu Kar, PIB general secretary, was quoted as saying in the TOI report.
The Information and Broadcasting Ministry was the co-host of the event along with the AIBD. I&B Minister Smriti Irani had opened the summit on Thursday (May 10). When contacted, the I&B ministry said it was not aware of Moneeza’s participation or withdrawal of her name. The event saw participation of over 200 foreign delegates and 54 speakers.
This was the first time when India hosted the Asia Media Summit where broadcasters gather to share their view on a host of issues. The theme of the two-day summit this year was ‘Telling Out Stories – Asia and More’.