Pakistanis accused of using Afghan media for spying

Published: April 15, 2012
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TV channels term claims as ‘white lies’,  challenge Afghan official to produce evidence.

TV channels term claims as ‘white lies’, challenge Afghan official to produce evidence.

ISLAMABAD: 

The Afghan intelligence agency has accused Pakistani nationals working for Afghanistan’s leading TV channel of spying and influencing the country’s broadcast policy.

The spokesperson for Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS), Lutfullah Mashal, alleged that Pakistanis working in the Afghan media industry were using their professions as a cover-up for spying.

However, almost all independent channels and newspapers have snubbed the allegations leveled by Mashal, who is famous for a reportedly anti-Pakistan approach.

He accused the privately-owned Shamshad TV of hiring 14 Pakistani nationals, who he claimed were “preparing programmes and carrying out assignments”.

Shamshad TV is a predominantly Pashto channel with millions of viewers in and outside the country.

Mashal, who graduated from the University of Peshawar in 1994 with a masters degree in English literature, also criticised Zhwandoon TV, saying Pakistanis working for the company influenced much of its broadcasting.

Addressing a press conference in Kabul this week, Mashal accused the employees of spying on Afghanistan’s national security institutions. He added that they were formulating policies without the consent of the Afghan government.

A senior employee of Shamshad TV, rejecting the allegations and terming them ‘white lies,’ challenged the Afghan intelligence official to prove his claims.

Khapalwak Safi, head of broadcasting at Shamshad TV, said, “All Pakistanis working for the channel are in the information technology (IT) department. They are highly qualified professionals.”

Safi added that only 10% of the required technical and IT experts were available in Afghanistan, and the rest had to be hired from other countries. He maintained that no Pakistani employee was involved in programme planning.

“We cannot find enough IT professionals in Afghanistan, so we have no option but to hire people from abroad.”

He also dismissed Mashal’s claims of Pakistanis working in Afghan media organisations without informing the government. He said all the employees had the required documents and work permits from concerned Afghan departments, adding that they had been working in the country for years.

“The NDS spokesman must account for his irresponsible remarks to the judicial bodies,” Safi said.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (18)

  • javed aslam
    Apr 15, 2012 - 9:05AM

    We have stop supporting and allowing terrorists from all over the world to setup base in fata or other regions of pakistan. Our intelligence is playing a very dangerous game. We will end up having enemity with all our neighbours including China.

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  • Billoo Bhaya
    Apr 15, 2012 - 9:12AM

    And why not???Afghanistan is ours as per our establishment. They have been doing this to us for the last 64 years, why would they give it up now.

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  • antony
    Apr 15, 2012 - 11:03AM

    common, you want IT people ,your search should start and end in Bangalore/India.

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  • abdul
    Apr 15, 2012 - 12:21PM

    @Mashal…..plz be more considerate towards Pakistan when you leverl allegations after spending your life in Pakistan. You must be indebted after we allowed you and million other Afghans to live here. Leave us alone, take back your refugees and go to your own country. Almost every terror threat is traced to your ppl (Afghans). We are sick of you now.

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  • Apr 15, 2012 - 12:27PM

    Pakistan is the leader of Muslim world. it has every right to do so.

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  • Vigilant
    Apr 15, 2012 - 12:46PM

    The reality of Afghans is they take refugee in our country, study and enjoy most of benefits available to us and when they are back…………..they become karzai & Mashal……..what a shame…..

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  • MarkH
    Apr 15, 2012 - 2:12PM

    @abdul:
    Almost every terror threat is traced to your ppl (Afghans).

    You say it traces back to Afghans and the rest of world says it traces back to Pakistan.

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  • Sunny
    Apr 15, 2012 - 3:17PM

    @antony: I worked with Indian Professionals. In fact they are highly over rated. Pakistanis are way better in IT than Indians and only because Indians are in the lime light so they get all contracts and that is all.

    @MarkH Just study some geography lessons that what is the difference in Afghan and a Pashtun. On both sides of the border the same people exist. If everything is traced in North West then the people of North West are same as Afghans. In fact it is like blaming your own People.
    I have met many Afghans in Pakistan. They get education from here and then go back and spit hatred upon Pakistanis. The same people who Mashal is cursing are mostly Pashtuns employed in Afghanistan and Mashal got education in Peshawar and I am sure he will be calling them Pashtun brothers when he will be Pakistan but now his Pashtun brothers are traitors once he is in Afghanistan.
    I am sure no Pashtun would have objected why he came from Afghanistan to study in Peshawar and no one would have blamed him for Spying but now the same people when were employed there then they are spies. It is Sheer Hypocrisy and nothing else.

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  • Truth Hurts
    Apr 15, 2012 - 6:20PM

    @MarkH:
    Who do you mean by “World”? Let me guess: CNN, Fox News, BBC, and Indian Media?? LOL! The same “World” was also saying that Iraq has weapons of “mass destruction”!

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  • ather khan
    Apr 15, 2012 - 6:34PM

    he studied from pakistan. then he is also a pakistani agent. afghans are losing all sympathies.

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  • IndianDude
    Apr 15, 2012 - 6:44PM

    @Sunny:
    “.. I worked with Indian Professionals. In fact they are highly over rated. Pakistanis are way better in IT than Indians…”
    Of course pakstani IT workers are better than indian IT professionals. I have met some ex-pak army soldiers and can tell you that one pakistani soldier is more poweful than 10 hindu soldiiers! It is conspiracy of all the Major corporations of the world agaist the pakistani IT workers. Indians have good PR, that’s all, pakistan need to have a good PR and image managment internationally. The world has misunderstood pakistan or has been conspiring against the beacon of the brightest light of islam!

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  • Afghan
    Apr 15, 2012 - 8:14PM

    Talk big Pakistan and Pakistanis, one day you will pay big for your sins against Afghanistan and Afghans!!!

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  • Mir Agha
    Apr 16, 2012 - 12:17AM

    Conspiracy theories against Pakistan are common amongst Afghanistanis. It helps them cope with their pathetic situation.

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  • Amjad
    Apr 16, 2012 - 8:20AM

    @Billoo Bhaya: No you should say that Afghanistan has been an Indian puppet state from 1947.
    As for Mashal, we need to remind ourselves about the nature of some of the thankless people from Afghanistan who cry to come to Pakistan and enjoy every facility from health care to education to jobs. However the real thankless nature of these Afghan nationals becomes apparent when they go home. No wonder Afghanistan cannot develop when the people there have such a thankless and duplicious mind set.

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  • Pollack
    Apr 16, 2012 - 10:35AM

    @Mir Agha: “Conspiracy theories against Pakistan are common amongst Afghanistanis. It helps them cope with their pathetic situation.
    Recommend1”

    Can any pakistani with a consience complain about conspiracy theories in other societies when pakistanis themselves are world class conspiracy theories?

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Apr 16, 2012 - 10:45AM

    @Amjad: ” … However the real thankless nature of these Afghan nationals becomes apparent when they go home. … “

    Amjad bhai, the Americans think pretty much the same of you – you think nothing of accepting aid, yet you chant “Death To America”. There is a saying – “we see in others, reflections of ourselves.” – in those Afghans you called thankless, you saw yourself.

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  • kaalchakra
    Apr 16, 2012 - 10:49AM

    Afganistan is nothing without elder brothe Pakistan’s help. Pakistan taught them culture, gave education, support, place to live, protected from attacks by India and Iran. Afghanis should be grateful. Only for Islamic brother Pakistan tolerates such an ingrate pauper nation.

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  • G. Din
    Apr 17, 2012 - 1:25AM

    @Amjad: to Billoo Bhaiyya
    “No wonder Afghanistan cannot develop when the people there have such a thankless and duplicious mind set.”
    Not very long ago, these very words -“cannot develop”, “thankless and a duplicitous mind-set” – were used for a neighbour of Afghanistan. Wonder, which one? Not Iran, certainly. have some shame, sir! Afghans are a proud people!

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