Despite ban, Pak channel brings JuD chief Hafiz Saeed on talk show

  • PTI, Lahore
  • Updated: Jan 31, 2016 22:13 IST
File photo of Chief of the Pakistan's outlawed Islamic hardliner group Jamaat-ud-Dawah, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed. (AFP)

Notwithstanding Pakistan government’s ban on the media coverage of militant groups like the JuD and LeT, Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief and Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed has appeared on a private Pakistani channel’s talk show.

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on November 2 had restrained all Pakistani television channels from “all kinds of coverage” of the JuD, its front Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) and about 60 other proscribed organisations and their leaders.

Saeed made an appearance on a talk show on Channel 24 on January 27. He glorified his organisation’s “public welfare” works and talked about how India and the US were ”pressuring” the Pakistani government to take action against organisations like the JuD and Jaish-e-Mohammad.

Saeed, in reference to the Pathankot terror attack, dismissed the suggestion that the government was “patronising” some “non-state actors and banned organisations”.

A PEMRA official told PTI that a notice to the channel would be issued for the violation of the directive. “We had warned the electronic media that in case of non-compliance (to the directive), we will take legal action -- imposition of fine or suspension or cancellation of licence,” the PEMRA official said.

The PEMRA notification banned all TV channels and FM radio from coverage of banned groups including LeT, JuD and FIF under UN restriction.

The UN declared JuD a terror organisation and also individually designated Saeed as a terrorist in December 2008. The US has already put 10 million dollar bounty on his head.

Saeed, who orchestrated the November, 2008, Mumbai terror attack in which 166 people were killed, roams around freely in Pakistan despite being a designated terrorist and has made many anti-India remarks and speeches.

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