Journalist community across the country marked November 2nd to highlight difficulties of journalists while performing their duties. The United Nation General Assembly passed a resolution couple of years before to declare November 2 as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI) to commemorate the hundreds of journalists around the world who are killed in the line of duty and whose deaths go largely unpunished.
Working conditions for Pakistani journalists are not satisfactory by any means. Pakistan stands behind Somalia and fifth on the list of worst countries for journalists to work freely. Pakistan is considered amongst the most dangerous countries of the world for journalists and ranks as the fifth worst in terms of the number of unresolved cases of violence against journalists. Even today a senior tribal journalist Zaman Mehsud was killed when unidentified gunmen opened on him in Tank area of Khyber Pahktunkhwa. Police said Mehsud was riding a motorcycle in Dibra area of Tank when he was attacked by the gunmen. According to police, Mehsud was shot five times.
It is tragic that since 2001, over 70 journalists have lost their lives while in Pakistan, 47 of them were deliberately targeted and murdered for practicing their profession. 21 abducted, 164 injured, 88 assaulted and 40 detained. Only two cases of violence against journalists out of 384 ended in conviction in the last two decades.
It is also being said that actual number of murders, threats to life and illegal detentions of journalists is far higher than the figures reported. Journalists usually face threats from militants, criminals, paid assassins, extremist groups, and feudal lords etc. Security of journalists is one of the duties of State but tragically nothing meticulous has been done so far in this regard.
Not only government but media houses should also conduct safety training workshops for journalists for reporting in conflict zone.