Harsh land for the journalists

Pakistan topped the table, once again for the wrong reasons. According to the list issued by the International federation of journalists of the media workers died in the year 2014, 14 belong to Pakistan. Overall, 118 journalists lost their lives, that means 13 more killings as compared to the year 2013. Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, PFUJ has termed the year 2014, as among the worst in a decade for Pakistani media. In some cases, Journalists and media workers were killed inside their offices. Although, figure does not include those who died in accidents or natural tragedies whilst on work, still, alarmingly Pakistan is the country with highest number of deaths of media workers in the last calendar year.

Very often, we have witnessed that media workers become the victims of brutality of some political parties and also of the government. During the sit-ins of PAT and PTI in the capital, Police shamelessly tortured the media workers by grabbing them and taking them out from the DSNGs. It seemed that brazen act of police was an act to teach a lesson to the media for independent reporting. It’s the prime duty of the government to provide security to the media workers, but what trends government is setting for others to follow is anybody’s guess. Behaviour of political parties is no different, during the political rallies female journalists are harassed, stones are thrown on journalists just because they do their job to report independently.

Pakistan has been declared the third most dangerous country for the working journalists after Gaza and Syria. Targeting of journalists has to be stopped. There must be an end to the impunity to the perpetrators as not a single culprit has yet been brought to justice. That would be a good omen to start to defend the hard earned media freedom in this country.

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