Pakistani Media Reporting of Lashkar-e-Taiba
Pakistani media outlets have been accused of allowing Islamists, including militant groups, air time to advertise their message. Activist group Pakistan Media Watch reported on April 2, 2014, that:
“Any pretense of media freedom was washed away by the ink in [journalist] Kamal Siddiqi’s pen when he wrote to instruct Express Tribune [a prominent Pakistani newspaper] reporters to write ‘nothing against any militant organization and its allies like the Jamaat-e-Islami, religious parties and the Tehrik-e-Insaf’.”“Media Freedom…For Militants,” Pakistan Media Watch, accessed May 5, 2015, http://pakistanmediawatch.com/2014/04/02/media-freedom-for-militants/.
Regarding Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the article continues, “A perfect example of this is the decision by The News (Jang Group) to publish an extensive pro-Taliban interview with jihadi leader Hafiz Saeed. The Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief excused militant violence inside Pakistan by blaming ‘foreign enemies’ and claiming that ‘Those who are destroying peace in Pakistan are directly or indirectly working on the [sic] foreign agenda’.”“Media Freedom…For Militants,” Pakistan Media Watch, accessed May 5, 2015, http://pakistanmediawatch.com/2014/04/02/media-freedom-for-militants/.
The BBC quoted Saeed in a press conference he gave after the U.S. announced a $10 million bounty on him, stating, “I am here, I am visible…I will be in Lahore tomorrow. America can contact me whenever it wants to.”“Lashkar-e-Taiba Founder Decries ‘Ridiculous’ US Bounty,” BBC News, April 4, 2012, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-17607779.