Pakistani authorities on Monday directed TV channels and radio stations to blank out coverage of terror groups such as the Jamaat-ud-Dawah and Lashkar-e-Taiba in line with sanctions imposed with the UN Security Council.
A directive issued by Pakistan’s media regulator described the move as a follow-up to a list circulated by the federal government last month of banned terror groups and those sanctioned by the UN.
The directive said all satellite TV channels and FM radio stations were “strictly directed not to give any kind of coverage to any proscribed organisation, including Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF), Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) in breach of the obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions”.
It added, “Moreover, any advertisements for fund collection by proscribed organisations in electronic media shall also constitute a breach of these obligations.”
Pakistan’s electronic media advisory
However, the JuD continues to be only a “watch list” in the new list of terror and extremist groups circulated on October 28 by Pakistan’s interior ministry. The LeT, which was founded by Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, is among the 60 banned terrorist organisations.
However, the JuD – which was named as a front for the LeT by the UN Security Council in the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai attacks – is included among a dozen groups that have been sanctioned under the UN Security Council Resolution 1267.
Pakistan has not yet issued a formal notification to ban the JuD, which India and American security officials accuse of fund-raising and recruiting on behalf of the LeT.
The new directive to the TV channels and radio stations was issued under the provisions of the law governing the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, which prohibits the broadcast of content that is “likely to cause hatred...or is prejudicial to the maintenance of law and order”. It also bars the media from airing content that is “likely to incite, aid, abet, glamorise or justify violence”.
List of Pakistan terror groups
The JuD has a strong presence in the Pakistani media and Hafiz Saeed appears regularly on news programmes and talks shows on TV channels.