Posted by Abdul Alim
Dawn: Global rights organisations have rated the country as one of the most dangerous for journalists and an increasing number of reporters being killed in the last two years has made it the deadliest in the world.
It is not uncommon for a Pakistani journalist, or their family, to live under a constant cloud of fear and intimidation. Reporters working in the field have been allegedly threatened, abducted, tortured and killed by armed political groups as well as state and non-state actors.
Time and again, reporters covering topics deemed sensitive have been individually targeted in Pakistan.Saleem Shahzad – a Pakistani journalist who had complained of receiving threats from the state’s spy agency – was abducted, tortured and then murdered last May. Wali Khan Babar, a Geo Newsreporter, was allegedly killed in Karachi by a political party’s armed wing in January 2011.
“Journalists are being targeted with impunity and the government has failed miserably to check this dangerous trend,” the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) had said in a statement following Babar’s murder last year.
While authorities have yet to unmask the culprits behind Shahzad and Babar’s murders, the voices of dissent in the Pakistani press continue to be silenced. Earlier this year, the bullet-riddled body of another reporter, Razzaq Gul, was recovered from Turbat in the troubled province of Balochistan.