Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Mohammad Saeed on Sunday criticised the Nawaz Sharif government for banning the coverage of his Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) in Pakistani media, claiming it was under the direction of the US that such a step was taken.
“The order to ban the JuD (on media) has not come from Islamabad but from Washington,” he said in a statement issued in Lahore.
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The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority on November 2 had restrained all Pakistani television channels from “all kinds of coverage” of the JuD, its front Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation and about 60 other proscribed organisations and their leaders.
The 66-year-old, who orchestrated the 2008 Mumbai terror attack in which 166 people were killed but roams around freely in Pakistan – also questioned the ‘liberal agenda’ Sharif is trying to ‘impose’ in Pakistan for which he is being praised in the Western media, in an apparent reference to a recent Washington Post article.
The Post had praised Sharif for his liberal agenda, saying the “shift in tone can be traced to Sharif’s ambitious economic agenda, the influence his 42-year-old daughter (Maryam Nawaz) has over him, and his awareness that Pakistan remains the butt of jokes, according to his friends, senior government officials and analysts”.