A small local, U
rdu-language newspaper in Pakistan has uncovered terror attack plans by the Tahreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). On Saturday, Dawn reported a communique from TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud directing “his subordinate to target the offices of media organizations in Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad and in other cities in the country especially those media organizations and media personalities who are denouncing TTP after attack on child activist Malalai Yousufzai.”
Tuesday, The News International printed a statement from TTP spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan that the group would “continue to respect journalists” except those outlets they consider biased. Sirajuddin Ahmad of another Taliban group, Maulana Fazlullah, explained more fully: “Right from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to Hillary Clinton and President Obama, all of them used whatever bad language and words they could use on the media but when we tried to reply to them, no media organization was willing to give us importance. The media is not even allowed to use the real name for Maulana Fazlullah but calling him derogatory names like Mulla Radio.”
The Taliban is upset because the people who are condemning the shooting of 14-year-old Malalai are getting much more press attention than their explanation that it was justified because she was being “un-Islamic” and that she was critical of the Taliban. They claim that a story in the Qur’an that allegedly comes from the Old Testament about a man killing his own child for being bad is justification for trying to kill Malalai. They don’t understand why no one is interested in their “justifications.” Malalai is one violent act too many. The anger over the shooting has become a conduit for all the repressed anger over the activities of the Taliban in the past, the way their presence in Pakistan and Afghanistan has hindered peace and development for both countries.
The Interior Ministry is taking the threats seriously and has increased security around media organizations.
Now we know what the right wing in America has been doing wrong. Instead of just whining about the “blamestream media” Sarah Palin should have been more specific with all her “lock and load” rhetoric.