The banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an umbrella organization of armed Islamist groups, has warned the country’s media and journalists not to call them a “terrorist outfit” or they will be treated as “enemies”.
TTP spokesman Mohammad Khurasani said in a social media statement Monday that his organization was following media coverage that labeled the TTP with swear words as “terrorists and extremists”.
“The use of such terms for TTP showed a partisan role by media and journalists,” Dawn newspaper quoted the TTP’s online statement as saying.
“Such labels on the TTP meant that the media professionals were dishonest in their duty and would create enemies for themselves,” said Mohammad Khurasani.
Therefore, the media should call them by the name Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, he said.
The Pakistani Taliban was established in 2007 and the government declared it a banned organization in August 2008 after targeted attacks on civilians.
The TTP’s first chief, Baitullah Mehsud, was killed in a US drone strike in 2009.
In its National Action Plan in 2014, the Pakistani government banned offshoots of the TTP and the media stopped the so-called “glorification of militants”.
Several Pakistani journalists have been murdered and kidnapped, sandwiched between the militants and the government’s war on terror.
At least 30 journalists have been killed in the past decade in the former provinces of Fata and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In most cases, the perpetrators have not been booked.