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Pakistan closes US-funded Radio Mashaal

IANS  |  Islamabad 

The Pashto-language station of the US-funded has been closed by the Pakistani government, officials said on Saturday.

The government closed down station on Friday night for allegedly broadcasting "content against the national interests of Pakistan", told news agency.

RFE/RL's posted on its website the notification issued by the ministry, ordering its closure and alleging that the country's main intelligence agency, (ISI), believes the programmes it broadcast were "in line with (a) hostile intelligence agency's agenda".

The notification accuses of portraying as "a hub of terrorism and (a) safe haven for militant groups", "a failed state" and inciting members of the Pashtun ethnic minority - which account for around 30 million of the 207 million inhabitants of - against the government.

In a statement issued by the station in Islamabad, said he was "urgently seeking more information about the Pakistani authorities' intentions."

Kent stressed that was a "private news organization supported by the US Congress with no connection to the intelligence agencies of any country."

The closure is the latest blow to US-Pakistani relations after announced it would be suspending security aid to amounting to $900 million until Pakistan takes decisive action in rooting out terrorist factions operating on its territory.

US has also accused Pakistan of "lies and deceit", comments which led to mass anti-US protests in Pakistan earlier this month.

The US and have long accused Pakistan of providing refuge to the Taliban's Haqqani network, which stages attacks on US and Afghan troops, a claim that denies.

--IANS

ahm/dg

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, January 20 2018. 20:24 IST
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