Afghanistan bans Pakistan newspapers over Taliban support


An Afghan vendor sells newspaper on a street of Kabul on May 3, 2011, which detail the death of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.



Afghanistan banned all Pakistan newspapers from entering the country on Friday, saying they serve Taliban militants.

The Interior Ministry order has added to the tension between the neighboring countries, noted the Associated Press. It focuses specifically on blocking the entry of newspapers at Torkham, a busy border crossing, and told border police to gather up papers from Pakistan in the three eastern provinces of Nangarhar, Kunar and Nuristan.

"The news is not based in reality and it is creating concerns for our countrymen in the eastern provinces of Afghanistan," the ministry said in a statement, according to the AP. "Also, the newspapers are a propaganda resource of the Taliban spokesmen."

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Cross-border violence has become an extremely sensitive issue in Afghanistan, where many are concerned about Pakistan's historic ties to the Taliban, reported BBC News. At a UN Security Council meeting on Thursday, Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul said the attacks have killed dozens of civilians. The UN also said around 4000 people have been displaced because of cross-border shelling.

According to Afghan online newspaper Khaama Press, more than 10 Pakistani newspapers have been published and distributed in Nangarhar, including Wahdat, Jerga and Khabarona newspapers. The papers are published in Pashtu and Urdu languages, and generally come from Peshawar, Pakistan. Reports suggest that more than 2000 copies of Pakistani newspapers are distributed in Nangarhar.

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