Media may be next target
* ‘Taliban group’ sends threatening letters to Lahore Press Club, demands Taliban be referred to as ‘mujahideen’
ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: Top security sources have said offices of private TV channels, the National Press Club in Islamabad, other press clubs across the country and offices of the print media are likely to be the next target of terrorists.
A senior security official told Online that a TTP commander’s call was intercepted, and he was heard giving directives to subordinates to target offices of security forces in all the major cities of Pakistan, in addition to launching attacks on media offices all over the country.
The security official said information had also been received that terrorist networks were operating in rural areas because of links between banned outfits and the TTP. “They could mount pressure on the government from all sides,” he said, adding that terrorists had changed their strategies. He indicated that terrorists were now trying to target top officials in attacks.
The officials said, “We also have authentic reports that terrorists could kidnap a school bus of some reputed educational institution.” The sources said a private TV network had been directly threatened by terrorists.
Meanwhile, a Taliban group also sent two letters to the Lahore Press Club – one on October 12 and the other on October 14 – warning that if the media “does not stop portraying us as terrorists ... we will blow up offices of journalists and media organisations”.
Sources in the press club said both the letters were written by the ‘Sarf Mission’, which introduced itself as “a group affiliated with the Taliban”. The group claimed that it could mount attacks anytime after October 10.
Lahore Press Club Secretary Zahid Abid told Daily Times that in the first letter, it was written that after the attacks on a UN office, the General Headquarters and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto – “it is very easy for us to launch an attack anywhere”.
According to the letters, the Taliban would target chief editors, editors and reporters of media groups, said Abid, adding that the Taliban also threatened the Mughalpura and Harbanspura police stations in the letters.
“If the chief justice does not release our colleagues, the Taliban will also target him and his family,” warned the letters. The group said that Taliban should be referred to as mujahideen. online/staff report