The adage about not shooting the messenger has taken on a whole new meaning in Pakistan, as Taliban insurgents threaten attacks against media outlets that have shown unfavourable coverage after their attempt to kill 14-year-old schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai.
The International News writes: “According to sources, the Taliban felt that the media has become biased against them and was giving ‘undue’ coverage to the attack on Malala and portraying them as the ‘worst people on earth.’”
The paper goes on to report that a Taliban source tells it 12 suicide bombers have been dispatched to target media outlets, particularly foreign outlets, and militants are also going to target journalists who speak out against the Taliban’s actions.
Both Pakistani and international media are taking added precautions as a result of the threats, reports BBC News.
Amid these threats, The New York Times reports that the Taliban is also launching a campaign to attempt to tarnish Yousafzai’s reputation. On Tuesday, Talbian spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan called the girl “a spy who divulged secrets” and “created propaganda,” the New York Times reports. The spokesperson also said the girl had just turned 15, which made her a woman, rather than a girl.
A graphic being shared on Pakistani Facebook pages also condemns Yousafzai for saying she liked U.S. President Barack Obama.
Meanwhile, Yousafzai has been moved to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where she continues to recover from a gun shot wound to the head.