The Taliban and the media
By: F Z KHAN
According to an exclusive report, the Taliban have threatened various top-ranking journalists and television anchorpersons to either stop spitting out venom against them or get ready for the consequences. This means: the war on terror has further expanded. The threat is not restricted to the security forces or general masses but is now out to take the media head-on. The Taliban have gained much ground and are strong enough to be able to coerce and intimidate the media into accepting their terms.
The world at large, Pakistani society and military-government establishment in particular do recognise the major role from 2008 onwards that Pakistan’s media has played in fighting the war against terror. Had there not been the media’s proactive role in showing the flogging video, the Swat operation would never have taken place and the return of the IDPs would not have been possible either. Journalists have no arms and security cordons but have dared to work in such a dangerous environment. The Malala incident has exposed the barbarism of the Taliban and the media has played a huge role in highlighting this cruelty. The Taliban’s threats have drawn a clear line between them and media now as well.
Imran Khan must also understand this fact. Those siding with the Taliban or leaning towards these messengers of hate have seen the real face of the enemy within. The fight seems to have entered its final stage: join hands or get intimidated. The government and the military should not leave the recipients of the Taliban’s threats alone. They must be provided with adequate security. On the other hand, journalists need to stand strong. If they get coerced now, it would inflict an irreparable wound to society. It is now or never. The Taliban have made a major mistake.