Pakistan Bans TV Channels From Covering Terror Attacks

Pakistan terrorism jihadism radical islam

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on Monday prohibited television news channels from covering terrorist attacks, Pakistan based The News International Newspaper reported. The authority`s directives came after its earlier directives on the issue urging TV channels to adhere to the Electronic Media Code of Conduct 2015.

The authority in a notification said: "It has been observed with grave concern that despite repeated directives satellite TV channels are unable to comply with provisions of the Electronic Media Code of Conduct-2015 in letter and spirit."According to the regulatory body, news channels amid a terror attack, resort to marathon transmission ignoring basic journalistic norms and ethics only to "take lead" and "credit" for breaking the news first.

It added that the channels violate journalistic ethics by "airing live images of the crime scene."The PEMRA stated: "Satellite TV channels and their staff are found ambivalent of not only their security but also create hurdles in rescue and combat operations."Information shared on news channels in such a situation is "unverified, speculative without consulting security agencies present on the spot", according to the electronic media watchdog.

The authority`s notification said that such reporting creates chaos among domestic and overseas viewers. It also mentioned that reporting such incidents gives benefits to terrorists for "using media as a form of political advertising" and serves their ideological purposes by "publicising their campaign", The News International reported."Moreover, media coverage of such incidents also gives terrorists an organisational advantage by allowing a specific group to exhibit its strength and audaciousness in comparison with its rivals," the watchdog stated.

Orders by the authority come at a time when Pakistan, for the past few months, has been facing a rise in terror attacks. Karachi is the latest target of terrorists as they recently barged into Karachi`s strictly-guarded police office in Sharea Faisal. During the attack, four people including police and ranger personnel were killed and three terrorists were killed.

Terror attacks in Pakistan by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) after Asim Munir became the Chief of Army Staff have become a major problem for the country, which is facing one of its worst economic and political crises, according to the International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS) that attributes the cause to loopholes in policy formation and support to terrorism given by those in power.

The report claimed that during the last three months, the TTP and its members have carried out 160 attacks that have claimed hundreds of lives and also exposed the flaw and vulnerabilities of the country`s defense to counter-terrorism.

Referring to the Peshawar Mosque Blast the report by IFFRAS a non-profit, independent, and international think tank headquartered in Toronto claimed that around 103 policemen were killed and around 200 injured in the suicide attack in the Peshawar Police Lines Mosque during Zuhr prayers.

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