Pak channel barred from airing ex-Taliban militant’s interview

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Pak channel barred from airing ex-Taliban militant’s interview

Islamabad, Apr 27 (PTI) Pakistan’s electronic media regulator has barred a prominent television channel from airing a recorded interview of a former Taliban spokesman, saying doing so would violate the code of conduct for the media.

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has prohibited the scheduled telecast of the interview of Ehsanullah Ehsan, a top leader of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar group, on Geo TV tonight.

PEMRA issued a notification barring the channel from telecasting the interview. It said that doing so would violate the code of conduct for the media which bars interviews of people linked with banned militant outfits.

“Broadcasting the interview of a terrorist commander is against the directions of National Action Plan (NAP) and Supreme Court’s code of ethics for media,” it said.

PEMRA said it has received complaints against the promo of the interview run by the TV channel, asking the regulator to take action before the interview of a known terrorist was aired.

Ehsan, as a spokesman of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and one of its faction Jamaat-ul Ahrar, had claimed the responsibility for several terrorist attacks, including the one on Malala Yousafzai, who later won the Nobel Peace Prize.

In a recorded “confessional statement” issued by the army yesterday, Ehsan had claimed that the Taliban were involved in sabotage at the behest of India and Afghanistan.

The Pakistan Army announced last week that Ehsan has surrendered before it, but it did nor provide any details about when, where and how he handed himself over to the army.

Jamaat-ul-Ahrar terror group issued a statement attributed to its new spokesman Asad Mansour claiming that Ehsan was captured on March 7 by Pakistan’s spy agency ISI from Afghanistan’s Paktika province, which borders Balochistan province of Pakistan.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.