The Press Council of Pakistan has recently served a notice to the editors at Dawn, claiming a violation of the Ethical Code of Conduct. Their claim is based on a published interview of Nawaz Sharif discussing the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Background of the Attacks

The Mumbai attacks of 2008 are often called 26/11. It was in November of the year when 12 corresponding shootings and blasts were piloted across Mumbai for four consecutive days from November 26th to November 29th. These attacks were orchestrated by ten members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, a banned terrorist outfit based in Pakistan. These men allegedly traveled via a boat and killing four fishermen, entered India.

As a result of these brutal attacks, more than 160 people died and a more than 300 were left injured.

Out of the 12 attacks, 8 were steered in the South Mumbai side. These included places like Oberoi Trident, Taj Palace, Cama Hospital, the Nariman House Jewish community center, and St. Xavier’s College and others. One blast occurred at Mazagaon as well. Several of these areas were secured by the police department by day three. The Indian Security Guards also conducted a wipeout mission taking down the remaining attackers and control the situation. This resulted in the death of the residual attackers and therefore brought an end to the assaults.

Nawaz Sharif’s Statement

The interview that has displeased the Press Council entails a feature of ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif making an anti-state remark based on the attacks. However, the president of the Union of Journalists Afzal Butt has demanded that print media be given the right to report equitably.

In the interview, Nawaz Sharif referred to the completion of the Mumbai trials that met a halt in Rawalpindi court. He went on to quote President Putin to support his stance and has caused a major uproar across the country. The blocking of this news in one of the major independent newspaper companies somewhat a reminder that military intends to maintain all control on the information released. It makes evident the fact that an autonomous approach will not be allowed particularly just months away from the elections.

The Reporter’s Without Borders organization has condemned the ban and demanded to end the interference with print media.


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