ISLAMABAD: The government has issued directives to step up security outside the offices of national and international media outlets in fear of a backlash from the activists of the defunct Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
A responsible functionary of the Interior Ministry told an international media outlet on condition of anonymity that the secret agencies had recorded a telephonic conversation of Hakim Ullah Mehsud, chief of TTP with one of his activists Nadim Abbas alias Inteqami whereby he was directing him to take action against the media. The Interior Ministry said Hakimullah Mehsud asked Nadim Abbas to target offices of national and international media located in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Peshawar, Karachi and other cities as they were hitting the TTP hard following the attack on Malala.
The TTP had to face immense reaction from inside and outside Pakistan after Malala was attacked. The incident triggered a massive repulsion against the TTP and the people at large demanded at operation against the banned outfit in Pakistan. The TTP spokesman had accepted responsibility for the Oct 9 attack on Malala. It may be recalled that the TTP hurled threats on persons associated with the national and international media through telephone and e-mail.
Interior Ministry sources said the leaders, who are criticising openly the attack on Malala, had been asked to remain careful. The federal government directed all the concerned quarters to deploy police contingents in the areas where offices of national and international media were operating and if needed, the federal government could be asked for dispatching the FC to the respective cities.
The Interior Ministry functionary said that chief commissioner Islamabad and chief secretaries of all the four provinces had been directed to hold meetings with responsible persons of the media to allay their security concerns. He said that the police and management officers would soon arrange meetings with media men in pursuance of the directives.