CONTROLLING THE MEDIA AS CONFLICT ESCALATES
TALIBAN WARNS ALL AFGHANS THAT NATO COLLABORATION WILL SEE THEM BECOME TARGETS
In another sure sign the war in Afghanistan is going to broaden and intensify in the months ahead, tight restrictions are now being imposed on the media and how they report on the conflict.
During a media conference in Kabul, a 24 point plan was issued to local and foreign television, radio and newspaper journalists on how they should, or shouldn't, be covering the war in Afghanistan. The set of guidelines is believed to have been issued by an intelligence organ, presumably guided by NATO officers skilled in information warfare.
The main points in the paper press journalists not to conduct interviews with Taliban leaders and avoid raising fingers of accusation at the foreign troops presently stationed in all parts of the war-shattered country. The paper says that in the present circumstances, reports regarding Taliban's attacks and interviews of their leaders would weaken the morale of the people. At the same time, editors and general managers of newspapers, news agencies and private radio and TV channels have been directed not to criticise the foreign troops.Local media in particula are being told they have to agree to new restrictive guidelines on how they report the war in their country. The Afghanistan government wants no media to give any coverage at all to the Taliban and intends to ban journalists from interviewing anyone connected to the militant group.
...media organisations has been asked not to highlight suicide attacks, Taliban statements regarding killing of Afghan and foreign forces and lawlessness in some provinces. Although media outfits and journalism is not as strong as in the neighbouring countries, local media personnel usually face problems in coverage of events in this impoverished state which is in the stage of institution building. This is the first time, since the ouster of Taliban in 2001, that media organistaions and journalists are overtly asked to follow "dos" and "don'ts" in fulfilling their professional responsibilities.A free press is, of course, one of the hallmarks of a true democracy, and banning journalists from interviewing the enemy, restricting their access to the war zones and trying to control what is, and isn't, reported goes against everything the Afghans have been fighting for since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.
Trucks from Pakistan shipping in NATO food and fuel supplies are now being targeted by Taliban fighters.
One fuel truck blew up yesterday as it crossed into Afghanistan. A bomb is believed to have been secured to the vehicle before it left Pakistan.
Six people were killed and ten other vehicles were destroyed in the subsequent explosions, as other fuel and cargo vehicles in the convoy were consumed by the blast.
There have been several Taliban attacks on trucks supplying logistics to US bases in Afghanistan but this was one of the biggest.
(The Taliban) has warned all Afghans working with us-led forces in Afghanistan that they could be targets.
On Thursday last week 10 Afghans, including five interpreters working at a us-led coalition base in troubled Kandahar province, were killed by a bomb placed on a bus taking people to work.
The past months have seen an upsurge in rebel attacks on afghan and foreign forces, especially in southern and southeastern Afghanistan.
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