Afghanistan has banned all Pakistani newspapers, accusing the publications of supporting the Taliban and seeking to undermine the government, an official said on Saturday.
The papers will be blocked at their entry points in the eastern provinces of Afghanistan which shares borders with Pakistan.
"The Afghan government decided to ban all Pakistani newspapers in Afghanistan," government spokesman Sayed Ihsanuddin Taheri told AFP.
"In recent months Pakistani newspapers have started an anti-Afghan government campaign, especially in the eastern provinces."
"The papers print Taliban propaganda, question the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan and run an anti-government campaign," he added.
An interior ministry statement said the papers also "target Afghan forces" in their articles.
Afghanistan border police have already started collecting all Pakistani newspapers from shops and newspaper stands in Nangarhar province, the spokesman said.
The Daily Outlook Afghanistan supported the ban and blamed the cross-border violence as the reason behind it.
“This initiation by Interior Minister might be appreciable but it does not lead the states towards final solutions, because the digital source of propaganda for Taliban militants via internet is still a suitable alternative. Since Taliban have emerged towards using the technology, they have been releasing their violence promoting propagandas via internet not printed media,” the newspaper wrote in their editorial.
Relations have soured between Afghanistan and Pakistan over attacks carried out across their porous and often unmarked border in the past several months that have left a number of Afghan civilians dead and wounded.
According to UN figures, around 4000 people have been displaced due to cross-border attacks.
Islamabad says Pakistani Taliban are using havens in Afghanistan to resume attacks in northwestern Pakistan. Kabul, in turn, has complained about cross-border artillery shells and rockets being fired from Pakistan.
Afghanistan's Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul said Thursday that attacks from Pakistan into his country were "a matter of deep and serious concern" and had caused "unprecedented anger and frustration among Afghans".
Source: DCMF, AFP