Taliban kidnap six Afghan journalists

The Taliban kidnapped six Afghan journalists working for private and government media organizations in eastern Paktia province. (File/AP)
Updated 07 September 2019
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Taliban kidnap six Afghan journalists

  • The reporters were abducted while traveling together to attend a media workshop on Friday
  • A Taliban spokesman confirmed the abduction of six journalists by their fighters but said they will be released soon

KABUL: The Taliban kidnapped six Afghan journalists working for private and government media organizations in eastern Paktia province, government officials and the Taliban said on Saturday.
The reporters, working for radio and TV news companies that broadcast news in the Pashto and Dari languages, were abducted while traveling together from neighboring Paktika province to Paktia to attend a media workshop on Friday.
“We are trying to negotiate their release with the Taliban,” said Abdullah Hasrat, a spokesman for Paktia’s governor.
A Taliban spokesman confirmed the abduction of six journalists by their fighters but said they will be released soon.
“Yes, our mujahideens (fighters) have mistakenly kidnapped them,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the hard-line insurgent group.
“Right now mobile services are not working, but they will be released as soon as we establish contact with the local commander,” he said.
Afghanistan was the deadliest country in the world to be a journalist in 2018, with 13 deaths according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
The International Federation of Journalists said 16 journalists were killed last year.
In June, the Taliban issued a threat to Afghan media, saying journalists will be targeted unless news outlets stop broadcasting what they describe as government propaganda against the insurgents.
Media organizations were given one week to stop transmitting “anti-Taliban advertisements” by the group’s military commission, a warning that was denounced by the Afghan government and western diplomats.
In 2016, a Taliban suicide bomber rammed his car into a bus carrying employees of Tolo TV, the country’s largest private broadcaster, killing seven journalists.
The Taliban said it killed the employees because Tolo was producing propaganda that supported the occupation of Afghanistan by the United States and its allies in their war against the insurgents.


Pakistan’s anti-graft agency arrests opposition leader Khursheed Shah

Updated 18 September 2019

Pakistan’s anti-graft agency arrests opposition leader Khursheed Shah

  • Shah will be presented to court in Sukkur for remand on Thursday
  • Shah was taken away by nearly 20 personnel of NAB and police

KARACHI: Pakistan’s anti-graft agency said on Wednesday it had arrested opposition Pakistan People’s Party leader Khursheed Shah over questions around the source of his income.
“NAB’s Sukkur chapter has arrested Syed Khursheed Shah over ‘assets beyond means’,” the National Accountability Bureau said in a statement, refering to a class of case in which a defendant is accused of possessing assets higher than their known sources of income.
Shah will be presented to court in Sukkur for remand on Thursday, an official statement said.
The opposition stalwart was arrested in a joint operation by NAB’s Rawalpindi and Sukkur chapters, Pakistan’s DawnNewsTV reported. He will remain in custody on Wednesday evening.
Shah was taken away by nearly 20 personnel of NAB and police during a raid at his Islamabad home, the domestic staff at his house told DawnNewsTV.