LAHORE: The Jamatud Dawa decided  to challenge the ban on its media coverage in the Lahore High Court today.

According to JuD sources, a meeting of the organization said it was the question of the freedom of speech and expression, which had been guaranteed by the Constitution, and the government could not deny this right to the JuD.

The ban, the JuD official said, had been imposed by the government to please its “foreign masters”, including India.

He said the ban could not be imposed on an organization which had no political agenda and which talked only of Pakistan.

The PEMRA banned a few days ago media coverage of proscribed organisations, including the Lash­kar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) and the Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF).

Following the Dec 2001 attack on the Indian parliament, the government of Pakistan banned LeT on January 14, 2002. After the proscription, the organisation continued to operate, first under the banner of JuD and then the FIF.

However, under pressure from the United Nations, the government placed both JuD and FIF on its watch-list in Dec 2008 and March 2012, respectively.

According to a circular issued by Pemra on Monday, the “Ministry of Foreign Aff­airs and Ministry of Interior, under National Action Plan (NAP), have banned all kind of coverage of banned JuD, LeT and FIF under UN resolution 1267.”  The Pemra also att­ached a list of 60 banned org­anisations and 12 organisations which were on the watch-list.

The JuD and the FIF are playing an important role in relief activities in the quake-hit areas. They had played a similar role in 2008 when a devastating earthquake had killed about 100,000 people in AJK.