PESHAWAR - As journalists in Pakistan are living under a constant threat of killing, harassment and other form of violence, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in a new letter has warned media persons of 'dire consequences' if they did not stop 'criticizing the militants' and 'partial reporting' during the ongoing military operation in North Waziristan.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalist (CJP), which published the letter on August 4, the TTP Mohmand Agency has sent an email to CJP and Reporters Without Borders (RWB) and have warned Pakistani journalists to stop 'false and baseless news' and 'propagandas' against the militants otherwise they will attack the media persons in a merciless way.
The letter entitled "The global war of ideologies and the behavior of media" reads: "The conflict in Pakistan is between two ideologies and beliefs in which we (Taliban) are fighting as one group. We are Muslims and we are fighting this war for the sake of the rise of Islam and to defend Muslims and their rights - but the Pakistani media behaves towards us in this battle in such a way that is even against its own principles. To spread false and baseless news, make propaganda against us on behalf of our enemies and playing the role of war propagandists, they call Mujahedeen with bad, disgusting and absurd names, do not listen to our views or get the results of its own choice by changing our views, messages and statements, represent Islamic teachings in wrong and misleading ways, act as a judge to us on every matter, it thinks it has a legitimate right to carry out all these duties".
The Mohmand Taliban group, which is led by Omar Khalid Khurasani, said that they were tolerating the criticism and false allegations of media during the ongoing military operation in North Waziristan the media has crossed its limit which is 'extremely unbearable'. "As a result of its irresponsible, thoughtless and criminal behavior there is extreme distraction, restlessness and rage among Mujahedeen that is no way auspicious for its members because we have tolerated from 2000 to 2014 such an unbearable behavior long enough", the militants warned.
The militants further warned, "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, we realize our responsibilities properly".
Talking to The Nation from an undisclosed location via phone, Omar Khurasani, the spokesperson of Mohmand Taliban, confirmed about the letter and said, "We have tolerated the media persons for a long time but they have crossed the limit. Our leadership has decided to teach a lesson to those journalists who are supporting our rival in this war of ideologies".
He further said, "In the letter sent to organisations working for rights of journalists, we have discussed in detail the biased reporting and the partial role of Pakistani journalists".