An attempt at terrorising media
The freedom of media in Pakistan is a subject that garners much debate and even controversy; whether it is the contention on media’s stability as an institution or the safety of journalists and the press, one fact is obvious: It certainly is not an easy job. It becomes even more significant as an issue considering how a free and secure media is perhaps one of the few platforms in the country where an assortment of opinions can be aired without backlash. Subsequently, the dynamic between civil society and media gains even more importance. But what can one say about the future of journalism in Pakistan when attacks continue on offices and employees?
With the recent attack on Express Media Group’s office in Karachi, the topic of journalists’ safety resurfaces. Three people were injured after unknown assailants used improvised bombs and heavy weapons in the area. For now, there is no clue as to who instigated this violence as the local intelligence officers informed media channels. Furthermore, this is not the first attack on Express Media Group; only four months ago, two people were injured after – yet known – unknown assailants opened fire on the office.
In addition to the Express Media Group, other media outlets have been on the receiving end of violence. In many cases, unfortunately, journalists have been threatened with censorship and worse for their views. The identity of the culprits may not be known but it is glaringly obvious that a particular and increasingly vicious type of belligerency against free and vocal media is being waged. Freedom is a constitutionally protected right of both individuals and groups in Pakistan; the Supreme Court and law-enforcing agencies should see to it that media groups are safeguarded from the assaults of those who lack rudimentary tolerance to listen to a diverse array of opinions and views.