Journalists seek arrest of Haq Baloch’s killers
QUETTA: The Balochistan Union of Journalists has called upon the government to arrest the killers of journalist Abdul Haq Baloch, general secretary of the Khuzdar Press Club, who was assassinated two days ago.
Addressing a protest rally outside the Chief Minister’s Secretariat here on Monday, BUJ leaders said the government had failed to protect lives of journalists in the province and across the country.
A procession taken out by journalists from the Quetta Press Club assembled at the main gate of the Chief Minister Secretariat.
Addressing the gathering, leaders of the community Isa Tareen, Rezaur Rehman, Shezada Zulfiqar, Hamadullah Siyapa, Owais Tuhid and Matiullah Jan said the government organisations, intelligence agencies, militant groups and political and religious parties were exerting pressure on journalists to publish reports about their activities according to their wishes which was not only unethical but also impossible.
They said that harassment and killing of journalists was meant to silence freedom of the press which was not in the interest of democracy.
They said that 25 journalists had been killed over the past several years. They paid rich tribute to Haq Baloch who was murdered on Sept 29 and pledged that such killings and harassment could not undermine their struggle for freedom of press, freedom of thought and freedom of speech in the country.
Criticising the federal and provincial government’s apathy and their failure to arrest killers of any of the journalists, the BUJ leaders said that it was the responsibility of state to protect lives and honour of all journalists to promote democracy and protect freedom of press. They said that journalists of the Khuzdar Press Club had been receiving threats from different elements but the government, despite having information about it, was doing nothing to address the situation.
In an unusual development, the Civil Lines Police registered a case against 26 journalists for holding a rally outside the Chief Minister’s Secretariat. Police sources said the journalists had been booked for entering the red zone in violation of law.