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Taliban to launch media regulatory authority

Source: PTI
July 04, 2010 20:42 IST
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The Taliban will soon launch their own "media regulatory authority" to monitor press and TV reports to prevent "false" statements about Islam, a militant spokesman said on Sunday, warning that a second-time violator of its media guidelines will "be executed".

In an email sent to journalists, Taliban Media Centre spokesman Muhammad Omer said the militants were working on the "Taliban Media Regulatory Authority", which would be "operational in the next few days".

"Its main objective is to monitor the media closely so that not a single false statement regarding Islam and Islamic ideologies should be broadcast nor any disputed matter could be discussed in media," the statement said.

Anyone violating the Taliban's media guidelines for the first time would be fined, Omer said. Anyone who commits a second violation will "be executed while taking the suo moto action," he added. Omer said other details of the regulatory authority "will be given shortly."

He also sought suggestions and comments from journalists, and assured that the Taliban would respond to any questions.

The spokesman claimed TV channels and newspapers were working as allies of the government and intelligence agencies.

They should "be prepared for what they deserved", he added. Omer also indicated that the decision to set up a media regulatory authority was a response to the media's failure to highlight the Taliban Media Centre's statement distancing the militants from last week's suicide attack on the Data Darbar shrine in Lahore.

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