Tags: Pakistan | Taliban | Journalists

Taliban Accused of Waging Terror Campaign Targeting Journalists

By    |   Monday, 10 Feb 2014 06:59 PM

Pakistani journalists are growing increasingly fearful of Taliban attacks in the wake of a recent spate of killings and death threats against journalists, the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported Monday.

Fear has mounted during the past year, with journalists reporting having received menacing text messages, telephone calls, and other threats from the jihadist group. Some members of the media have asked their families to leave the country while others have asked bodyguards to protect them at work.

Senior Pakistani journalists said that the seriousness of the threat was driven home last month in Karachi, when gunmen riding motorcycles shot and killed three staffers with Express News, a prominent Urdu-language television station.  The Pakistani Taliban (the Tehrik-e-Taliban, or TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack in a live telephone call from Afghanistan to Javed Chaudhry, an Express News anchor.

TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told the station that the group carried out the attack to protest what he said was the Pakistani media’s role in spreading “venomous propaganda” against his group.  Ehsan said the TTP had warned members of the media that they were expected to “side with us [the jihadists]”against their enemies.

A senior Pakistani journalist interviewed after the Karachi attack said the TTP’s threats have to be taken seriously because the group has access to  accurate intelligence about journalists and their organizations.

“The threats the Taliban are issuing are not meant only for the high-profile figures of Pakistan’s media. A number of [junior] reporters have also received these threats from the Taliban,” said the journalist, who requested anonymity.

During the interview, the journalist moved his seat away from his office’s large windows to reduce the danger of injury from sniper bullets or bombings.

“They [the TTP]  know the personal numbers of in-house employees, and people in charge of different news desks and bureaus, the people no one outside the organization or a small circle would know about,” he added. “Who is giving them these numbers?”
There are now reports in the media that the Taliban are planning to attack high-profile members of the Pakistani media such as a national newspaper publisher or a television anchor.

Hassan Abdullah, a leading Pakistani journalist, claims  to have seen a Taliban “hit list” of journalists during a recent visit to Afghanistan. He said the TTP list includes nearly two dozen publishers and journalists, including the editor of a leading English-language newspaper as well as media group owners and popular anchors. 

The Taliban has threatened the lives of foreign reporters as well. After the January 2012 murder of Voice of America reporter Mukarram Khan Aatif, who was shot to death as he prayed in a mosque in northwestern Pakistan, a local commander issued a warning.
All VOA reporters, he said, “are our targets and should resign; otherwise, we will kill them,” The New York Times reported.

Related Stories:

© 2017 NewsmaxWorld. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
GlobalTalk
Pakistani journalists are growing increasingly fearful of Taliban attacks in the wake of a recent spate of killings and death threats against journalists, the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported Monday.
Pakistan,Taliban,Journalists
486
2014-59-10
Monday, 10 Feb 2014 06:59 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved