United States Satisfies after Ban on Hafiz Saeed’s Led Organizations

Islamabad: A day after when Hafiz Saeed founder of Lashkar Taiba (LeT) and head of jamat ud Dawa (JuD) announced a relief package for earthquake affected people in khyber pakhtunkhwa in Islamabad, The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) had issued a notification banning all satellite TV channels and FM radio from coverage of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) under UN restriction. According to media reports quoting official sources in government  said that Pakistan’s decision to ban media coverage of the outlawed groups was part of a commitment given to US President Barack Obama by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his recent visit.

Reacting on the ban the United States officially said that it is in talks with Government Pakistan on its recent move to ban media coverage of terrorist outfits including Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and its leaders like Hafiz Saeed, underlining that every nation needs to strike a balance between the fight against terrorism and media freedom.

“All I can tell you is we’re aware of them, we’re looking into them, we’re talking about this with Pakistani leaders,” State Department spokesperson John Kirby told reporters. “I’m going to refer you to Pakistan for the reasoning behind its decisions,” he said. Kirby added: “What I can tell you is we recognise there’s a balance to be struck here between the fight against terrorism and media freedom. It’s a balance that every nation has to strike. Pakistan should speak for itself and for why it made this decision and how it’s going to execute this decision.

“What I can tell you is, you know, we continue to discuss this issue with leaders in Pakistan and we’ll do that.” On Monday, Pakistan banned media coverage of militant groups like the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) as part of a crackdown on terror, acknowledging for the first time that the Mumbai attack mastermind Saeed-led outfit was a wing of the Lashkar- e-Taiba (LeT).

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had detailed talks with President Obama on various issues, including terrorism during his visit to the US in October. “The PM apprised the president about Pakistan’s resolve to take effective action against UN-designated terrorist individuals and entities, including LeT and its affiliates, as per its international commitments and obligations under UN Security Council resolutions,” said a joint statement issued during Sharif’s visit.

Hafiz Saeed founder of Lashkar Taiba (LeT) and head of jamat ud Dawa (JuD) has been facing charges from India for allegedly masterminding the Mumbai attacks of November 11, 2008 in which over 160 people were killed and hundreds others injured. A charge which Hafiz saeed denies. Lashkar Taiba (LeT) and its affiliates have officially been designated terrorist groups by the United States and the United Nations. The U.S. has also put $10 million bounty on Hafiz Saeed’s head.

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