Saturday, December 18, 2010

Journalists being killed in Pakistan


Saudi Gazette

Journalists being killed in Pakistan

THE killing of journalists in Pakistan has become so routine that it doesn’t quite entail the protests and probes it once used to, said the Dawn in an editorial published Friday. Excerpts:
Recently, Muhammad Khan Sasoli, in his 30s and the president of the Khuzdar Press Club, was the eighth Pakistani journalist to have been violently eliminated in 2010. The Committee to Protect Journalists says some 42 journalists have been killed during the year worldwide in connection with their profession. Another report, by Reporters Without Borders, puts the number of journalists killed in Pakistan in 2010 at 12. These are extremely worrying figures – and it is not just a single conflict the journalists in Pakistan find themselves caught in.
Mr. Sasoli was shot dead last week in an area which has been in the news for clashes between nationalist insurgents and security forces. Many other mediamen have met a violent death while covering the war on terror from close range, mostly in the north-western region of the country, and elsewhere as well. Clearly, the danger for journalists – even if they are victims of the general insecurity and not directly targeted – is imminent everywhere in Pakistan, yet we no longer have the reaction we witnessed in the past as, for example, in the wake of the killing of Hayat Muhammad Khan in Fata in 2006. Protest has given way to skepticism. Worse, a sense of resignation prevails partly because in none of these cases has the killer been brought to book. It is also true that concerted calls for providing newsmen with the best possible protection have failed to elicit an emphatic response from media organizations. The year 2010 had begun on a promising note. Senior journalists belonging to various organizations had come together to work on ‘voluntary guidelines about covering violence’. After that initiative, the process has stalled somewhat, and journalists stand exposed to danger. __

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