Taliban faction threatens Pakistani media

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) condemn the continued threats issued by a Pakistani Taliban faction against the media. The IFJ calls on the Pakistani government to take the issue seriously and provide effective security for the country’s journalists.

In early August, the media wing of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s Mohmand agency faction (TTP) threatened Pakistani media over their coverage of ongoing military operation in North Waziristan state, in Pakistan’s tribal region. In an email to ‘the heads and members of the organizations working for the rights of media around the world’, the TTP accused Pakistani media of baseless news and propaganda against the Taliban and threatened attacks against the media.

The email said: “This message is aimed at making you aware that if we get engaged in attacking them then no crying and sobbing will be heard and we think accomplishing our legitimate and decent mission without attending to criticism of any criticizer is our appropriate right.”

It further stated: “The Pakistani media loses its chance to repent; the media needs to purge itself from its dishonest intentions, reprehensible shameless character, and prevailing satanic and cruel activities.”

The PFUJ said: “The PFUJ is studying the email with serious concerns and we always condemn such statements. This is not the first time that Taliban have issued threats to the journalists as the PFUJ understands that Taliban had been threatening and even attacked journalists.”

The PFUJ added: “The recent threat is an open threat to the working journalists who were reporting the War against terrorists and ongoing military action.”

More recently, the Taliban has also issued threats to the PFUJ officer bearers including its Lahore-based president Rana M Azeem and Karachi-based secretary general Amin Yousuf.

The IFJ said: “The IFJ is seriously concerned by the continued threats and intimidation by the TTP. The media working in Pakistan tribal region often face threats, intimidation and attacks for simply doing their jobs. The IFJ and PFUJ have issued a number of statements in the past but the government has failed to provide effective security to the journalists. Pakistan is one of the deadliest places on the earth to be a journalist and such threats only aggravate the worsening safety situation for media.” 

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 134 countries

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