Nawaz constitutes committee amid security threats to media

Published January 18, 2014
Security officials inspect a DSNG vehicle of Express News following a Taliban attack in Karachi late on January 17, 2014. – AFP Photo
Security officials inspect a DSNG vehicle of Express News following a Taliban attack in Karachi late on January 17, 2014. – AFP Photo

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday constituted a two-member committee to immediately contact media houses and assess security threats faced by them.

The decision has come following a targeted attack on a DSNG (digital satellite news gathering) vehicle of Express News in Karachi on Friday that killed three staffers.

The banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility of the attack, saying that Express News was targeted for biased reporting against Taliban. Former TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said that despite repeated warnings, the news organisation failed to present the point of view of Taliban.

The committee formed today consists of Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Pervaiz Rashid.

The prime minister has directed the committee to immediately present workable solutions to address security threats to the media houses.

Pakistani Taliban militants have in the past levelled threats against the country’s news media.

Media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said last month that Pakistan was among the world's five deadliest countries for the media in its annual round-up of press freedom violations.

With increasing terrorist attacks in Karachi, the TTP is apparently consolidating its hold over the port city. The Friday’s ambush followed suicide bombing that killed the top anti-Taliban Karachi cop, Chaudhry Aslam and killings at a Sufi shrine on the outskirts of the Sindh capital.

Rangers are currently taking part in a joint operation with police in Karachi aimed at cleansing the city of terrorists and other hardcore criminals including hired killers, gun runners and drug peddlers.

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