[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
Afghanistan bans all Pakistani newspapers
Border police sweep shops in eastern provinces after Kabul says publications spreading anti-government propaganda.
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2012 15:17

Afghanistan has issued a nationwide ban against Pakistani newspapers to stop what security officials consider anti-government propaganda aimed at Kabul.

Ihsanuddin Taheri, a government spokesman, told the Reuters news agency on Saturday that Pakistani newspapers are often misleading in their reporting of the Afghan administration and wrongly accuse NATO-led forces of "occupying" the country, rather than offering security support.

He added that some papers have also published speeches by Taliban leaders, hampering the government's effort to bring the Taliban into peace talks aimed at ending the country's 11-year conflict.

"We totally reject these statements and the ban is to show them this," Taheri said.

Afghan border police have been ordered to sweep shops in the eastern provinces of Nuristan, Kunar and Nangarhar near the Pakistan border to seize copies of Pakistani papers, he said.

The east of the country has been the focus for foreign and Afghan security operations against fighters over the summer months ahead of a NATO pullout of most combat troops by 2014.

Ties between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been strained by months of cross-border shelling which officials in Kabul have blamed on Pakistan's military.

Islamabad accuses Afghanistan of failing to stop anti-government fighters operating from mountain havens on Kabul's side of the border.

On Thursday, the Afghan foreign minister told the UN Security Council in New York that diplomatic ties with Pakistan were under threat.

The newspaper ban, which is likely to worsen already tense cross-border ties, could only be reversed by a ministerial decree.

240

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Anti-government secrecy organisation struggling for relevance without Julian Assange at the helm.
After decades of overfishing, Japan is taking aim at increasing the number of bluefin tuna in the ocean.
Chinese scientists are designing a particle-smashing collider so massive it could encircle a city.
Critics say the government is going full-steam ahead on economic recovery at the expense of human rights.
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
join our mailing list