The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) issued a notification on Monday, banning all domestic television and radio stations from coverage of 60 government-banned organizations and 12 additional U.N. recognized terror affiliates (VOA, Dawn). The announcement particularly mentioned Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and its affiliates, the Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) as well as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), specifically directing the media not to give coverage of any kind to these organizations in breach of obligations under United Nations resolutions. According to the notification, the “Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Interior, under the National Action Plan, have banned all kind of coverage of banned JuD, LeT, and FIF under UN resolution 1267.” The announcement comes as a response to extensive media coverage of the JuD’s humanitarian aid to Pakistan earthquake victims in recent weeks. However, the interior ministry later clarified that it had not given PEMRA any instructions regarding the JuD.
Pakistan officials announce plan to repatriate Afghan refugees
On Monday, Pakistan authorities announced that they plan to repatriate 1.5 million Afghan refugees over the course of the next two years, declining to extend the Dec. 31 deadline for their legal stay in the country (VOA). “There is no decision to extend their stay,” said Pakistani spokesman Tariq Hayat, “however, we cannot send them overnight and we will be sending them in a phased program, which is likely to take something under two years. But at the end of that period they will all be out of here.” United Nations officials have called for Pakistan not to rush the repatriation as the deadline approaches. U.N. and Afghan authorities insist that Afghanistan is still a conflict zone and unable to absorb large numbers of returnees. Hayat stated that the program would be carried out in a way to assure “dignity” to Afghan refugees.