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Main Stream Media Keeping Terrorism Alive

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If I sit in Bajaur Agency, tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border, and comment on whether Obama or another candidate will win the US election, how stupid I shall look.

The man on ground will be in a better position to give comment. Journalists sitting in Islamabad or other parts of world have been interviewing the terrorists and giving comments about the situation in tribal areas. None of them have ever visited tribal areas, but still the big international news outlets will be ready to purchase news from them.

I think the media, which is in control of the ruling class, has been creating terrorism, as this is the only weapon through which they can keep the people suppressed. Media, particularly of US and Pakistan, has been giving hero status to terrorists, which is unfair. There must be a code of conduct for the media. Terrorists must be treated like criminals. They do not deserve hero status. They are the men of US President George W. Bush, so they should be treated as criminals. This is the only way of controlling terrorism.

According to Iqbal Khattak story in Daily Times, the Taliban are preparing to launch a propaganda offensive with greater (global) outreach by arming some of its members with requisite skills to upload videos on websites such as YouTube.

"The real war is the media war," Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Baitullah Mehsud told Daily Times. "It is our desire to learn also how one should fight the media war."

Mehsud paved the way for a media counter-offensive on Friday by inviting more than 30 journalists from national and international media organisations to North and South Waziristan.

This came on the heels of the army airlifting around 20 journalists to Speenkay Raghzai on May 18 to showcase the forces' forward positions in areas from which militants were ousted during 'Operation Zalzala' in January.
It became apparent during the second visit that the militants had returned. Residents said they had done so on May 20 – a day after the army readjusted its positions to facilitate the return of displaced Mehsud families.

Mehsud sought to win over reporters by terming the murder of Express TV's Bajaur correspondent 'unforgivable'. He assured journalists that his organization would "hang the killers" of Ibrahim if they were identified.

"The Taliban have not been very advanced as far as the media war is concerned. But we are making efforts to catch up with the latest methods, and we will soon be available on YouTube," a non-Pashtun and non-combatant member of the Taliban's media cell told Daily Times, his face covered up to evade the identifying gaze of invited lenses.

Access to the latest technology does not appear to be a problem for the Taliban; their media cell employed the latest digital video cameras and laptops to record every moment of the "biggest Taliban media show." Senior BBC Urdu reporter Haroon Rashid commented that the media show put on by the Taliban underscored "completer control of the militants" over Waziristan.

The Taliban media cell has already been releasing video CDs showing horrific images, apparently with different aims. One such video, screened during an army media briefing on May 18, shows a boy as young as 10 firing shots at the head of a blindfolded man and beheading another.

"Such images leave a deep impact on viewers. It is part of Taliban psychological warfare to break down opponents psychologically," a retired army expert on psy-ops warfare told Daily Times in Peshawar.

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Muhammad Khurshid, a resident of Bajaur District, tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border is journalist by profession. He contributes articles and news stories to various online and print newspapers. His subject matter is terrorism. He is (more...)

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