In a move that is seen as an attempt by Pakistan to rein in terror, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has issued a directive to the broadcasters to refrain from covering any activities or advertisement calling for donations, by 72 banned organizations.
The organisations hit by the ban includes Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), and Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF).
Following the review of the National Action Plan (NAP), the directives which have been issued, also prohibit the media from airing programmes provoking violence. This has strengthened India’s assertion that JuD Chief Hafiz Saeed was the mastermind of Mumbai attacks in 2008.
It may be recalled that the National Action Plan was devised in January this year in the wake of the Peshawar Army Public School massacre in which over 150 people, mostly school children, were killed. In the aftermath of the dastardly attack, the government and military had decided to carry out operations in the tribal areas and take action against all terror organisations and their facilitators across the country.
The UN too had declared JuD a terror organisation and also individually designated Saeed as a terrorist in December 2008. The US has already put $10 million bounty on Saeed’s head.
The action on the JuD could be the result of the possible deliberations the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had with the US President Barack Obama of taking ‘effective actions’ against UN-designated terrorists and entities including, LeT and its affiliates, as per UNSC’s obligations. The list circulated by PEMRA states JuD, and FIF, as ‘aliases’ of extremist outfit LeT. Any breach of the order can lead to legal actions against the broadcasters and even termination of licenses granted.