Pakistan Orders TV Channels to Stop Covering Militant Groups

  • Action against groups is linked with Sharif-Obama meeting
  • U.S., India want action against terrorists, not statements

Pakistan directed private television channels to restrict coverage of militant groups as it attempts to convince the world it’s doing more to clamp down on terrorist outfits.

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority ordered stations to avoid coverage of 72 organizations with links to militants or risk losing their license to broadcast. They include some designated as terrorist groups by the United Nations like charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa and its militant wing Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is blamed for a 2008 attack in India’s financial capital that killed 164 people.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has stepped up action against militant groups operating inside its borders, particularly after a massacre at an army school last December left more than 100 students dead. India and the U.S. have accused Pakistan of not doing enough to clamp down on suspected terrorists.

Mahmud Durrani, Pakistan’s former national security adviser, said that the move to ban coverage on television channels is an outcome of Sharif’s meeting with President Barack Obama last month.

“There is pressure from the U.S.,” he said. “They don’t agree with our statements seriously, but only believe what they actually see happening on the ground."