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Taliban issue "final" warning to news media

(PPF/IFEX) - Pakistani media organisations have once again received a warning from the Taliban to become "independent" in their reporting or face consequences.

The threatening message, which was sent as an e-mail dated 23 April 2010, was received by a large number of news media organizations. The sender's name was listed as Muhammad Umer, Spokesman, Taliban Media Centre.

The message accused the media of not reporting the Taliban's version of clashes with Pakistan's armed forces, quoting an example of a press release issued by the Taliban about a clash which, according to the e-mail, was not reported by the media. Instead, the statement said, the media published "one false statement by (Pakistani armed forces) Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), misguiding the whole world".

The Taliban statement issued what it called "a last warning for the media of Pakistan" to stop working "as an ally of the Pakistani government and army" or be prepared to face consequences.

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