The Pakistani Taliban has said it will target journalists and media organisations for "fabricating" the statement of its spokesperson asking news outlets not to pay tribute to cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar on his retirement.
The shura council of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, headed by its new chief Mullah Fazlullah, decided to attack the journalists and media organisations which had carried statement of their spokesman Shahidullah Shahid regarding Tendulkar and Pakistani cricket team captain Misbahul Haq.
"In Tuesday's meeting, we decided to target only journalists and media organisations which twisted the recent statement of Shahidullah Shahid and tried to tarnish Taliban's image nationally and internationally," an unnamed senior Taliban leader and member of the shura was quoted as saying by The News daily.
"The task has been given to a select group of people within the Taliban to collect information about the journalists and media organisations who fabricated statement of the spokesman," he said.
An initial clipped video of the TTP spokesperson was circulated on social media networks, which showed TTP spokesperson criticising the Pakistani media over its coverage of Tendulkar. However, a longer video with his full remarks showed that he was not criticising the media but saying that those opposed to referring to dead militants as martyrs are like persons who do not want Tendulkar to be praised because he is an Indian.
Even after the emergence of the full video, some local and many international media continued to report that Taliban had warned Pakistani media for the coverage of Tendulkar.
In another development, TTP's Fazlullah removed senior commander Asmatullah Shaheen Bhittani as the chief of the banned group's central shura in a bid to make his grip stronger over the Pakistani Taliban, the report said.
In his place, Fazlullah has appointed his deputy Sheikh Khalid Haqqani as the new chief of central shura.