Mince your reporting, militants warn Pakistani journalists
Militants have warned Pakistani journalists of dire consequences if they did not stop ‘propaganda’ against their ‘struggle for the enforcement of Shariah’ in the troubled Malakand region in the north of the country.
A single-page message, entitled ‘Intebah’ (Warning) written in Urdu language and issued by militants in Mingora, the headquarters of Swat district, on Tuesday stated: “All editors of private and official news agencies, journalists and columnists are informed that you have a key role in changing the direction of the society, bringing revolution and making public opinion.
“Therefore, it was your responsibility to give space in your columns, editorials and headlines, which create positive results and represent the aspirations of the people of Malakand.
“Our two-year struggle was purely meant for the enforcement of Nizam-e-Adl and we have no other objective.”
However, the statement stated, the tone of media coverage changed over the previous one week. “This changed tone of the media shows that journalists are either lured by the pro-West polices of media or doing so under pressure,” said the warning issued under the name of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, a banned outfit involved in fighting with security forces and terrorism acts in Pakistan.
The biased media coverage was giving the impression that Taliban were sabotaging the Nizam-e-Adl (Justice System) Regulation. Journalists would be responsible for the grave consequences if they did not stop working on that agenda, said the warning, adding that the Taliban would go into the Shariah court against them if such reporting was not stopped.