Intimidation of press continues’
ISLAMABAD: Media in Pakistan faced at least 14 recorded incidents of attacks and harassment in November, raising the total number of such incidents to 114 during the current year, says a report issued by an international media NGO here on Friday.According to the report, titled “State of Pakistani Media Freedom,” various government agencies, militant groups and a political party were reportedly found involved in these incidents.The report, compiled by Intermedia Pakistan, an international NGO working to promote open media worldwide and monitors state of media in the country, shows that three journalists were abducted, two were tortured, and six others were intimidated in various reported incidents in November.Narrating the incidents, the report says Dilawar Khan Wazir, a correspondent of Dawn in South Waziristan, went missing from Islamabad under mysterious circumstances on November 19. He was released after confinement of more than 24 hours. After his release, Dilawar said that the abductors took him to an unidentified location and asked questions about his work in the tribal areas.
The identity of Dilawar’s abductors remains unknown but press reports suspect that the journalist was abducted by personnel of an intelligence agency.Two journalists, Syed Saleem Shahzad of daily Star (Karachi) and Qamar Yousufzai of daily Ummat (Karachi), were detained by Taliban forces. A report quoted a Taliban spokesman Dr Hanif as saying that the journalists were found in the areas controlled by them without any prior notice. The Taliban released the two journalists after 24 hours detention near Pakistan-Afghanistan border.In another incident, vice-president of Charsadda Press Club Rehmanullah was injured in a murder attempt. According to reports, he was shot injured by a person against whom the police have registered a case.
Mohammad Riaz of Nawa-i-Waqt escaped unhurt when he was attacked by some unidentified persons with knives in Mandra. Mehruddin Marri of daily Kawish, who had been missing since June 27, 2006, returned home on November 4. Mr Marri alleged that he was arrested by the Thatta police and afterward handed over to intelligence agencies. He claimed that he was taken to an unidentified location and interrogated by military personnel about his ties with Baloch leaders. “I was beaten and given electric shocks,” he was reported by the press as saying.
Pervaiz Narejo, a correspondent of Sindh TV in Dadu, complained of receiving death threats from local politicians and sought special protection. He received threats after one of his reports was broadcast showing a pro-government member of National Assembly beating a policeman.
According to reports, the policeman was found dead a few minutes later. After the footage was screened, Narejo and his family received death threats and he was forced to flee to Karachi.