By Yuvin Manadeniya for Al Jazeera
Following an open discussion on the issue of sectarian violence in Pakistan, the press delegates present at the Security Council were ejected approximately half way into the first meeting. This followed after directors emphasised the power delegates have in limiting the press’ ability to report during a suspension. This has raised concerns over how the press is able to effectively report on and analyse events when there is no direct knowledge of what transpires.
When questioned as to the necessity of this action, the delegate for Guatemala claimed that during early stages of the discussion there was a need to find out where individual delegates stand on issues and how they intend to proceed, without misleading the press and its readers.
However, despite this attempt to ensure that only accurate information is released, much of the information that was supplied during the suspension was provided only by delegates wishing to remain anonymous. Whether the information that was supplied is any more reliable is highly questionable as it likely represents their own perspective of the issues and comes with the disclaimer of any bias that they may hold.
Sources that were spoken to claim Pakistan have taken a hardline stance against any multilateral proposals and others claim that there is no willingness on their part to accept any offers of outside help. However, claims such as this cannot be verified and it reflects the restrictive limitations that are imposed upon press delegates attempting to report on these events.
Despite the delegate for Guatemala’s assurance that this will occur only in the initial stages, it is expected that events such as this will continue to occur during following meetings.