Sunday, September 23, 2012

Afghanistan bans Pakistan newspapers over ‘Taliban propaganda’

Afghanistan on Saturday banned all Pakistani newspapers, accusing the publications of supporting the Taliban and seeking to undermine the government, an official said.
The papers will be blocked at their entry points in the eastern provinces of Nangarhar, Kunar and Nuristan which border Pakistan.

“The Afghan government decided to ban all Pakistani newspapers in Afghanistan,” government spokesman Sayed Ihsanuddin Taheri told AFP.

“In recent months Pakistani newspapers have started an anti-Afghan government campaign, especially in the eastern provinces.”

“The papers print Taliban propaganda, question the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan and run an anti-government campaign,” he added.

An interior ministry statement said the papers also “target Afghan forces” in their articles. Afghanistan border police have already started collecting all Pakistani newspapers from shops and newspaper stands in Nangarhar province, the spokesman said.

Relations have soured between Afghanistan and Pakistan over attacks carried out across their porous and often unmarked border in the past several months that have left a number of Afghan civilians dead and wounded.

Islamabad says Pakistani Taliban are using havens in Afghanistan to resume attacks in north-western Pakistan. Kabul, in turn, has complained about cross-border artillery shells and rockets being fired from Pakistan. Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul said Thursday that attacks from Pakistan into his country were “a matter of deep and serious concern” and had caused “unprecedented anger and frustration among Afghans”.

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