Another violence filled year for journalists in Pakistan
Initial reports had suggested that it was a possible case of new year celebrations gone horribly wrong — that the bullet wound in journalist Shan Dahar’s back was from a stray bullet fired in revelry. But soon, it became clear that the Larkana based reporter had become the first journalist to be targeted in 2014.
Dahar’s death set the tone for a year of violence against journalists and media workers in Pakistan with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) noting in its annual report that seven journalists and media workers were killed during the calendar year.
This is down from 2013 when eight journalists and media workers were killed (motive confirmed: 5) and a far cry from the 20 year highs of 11 in 2010 and 2011.
In the report released on Tuesday, the CPJ said three journalists, including Dahar (Abb Takk Television), Ghulam Rasool and Irshad Mastoi (Online International News Network) were killed for their work. Since 1992, the CPJ said it has confirmed that 56 journalists in Pakistan had been killed in direct reprisal for their work.
The report added that the motive behind Ijaz Mengal’s (Daily Intekhab) murder in Khuzdar remains unconfirmed. According to CPJ’s data, motives behind the murders of 19 journalists in Pakistan remains unconfirmed with cases stretching back to 1998.
The report also noted the murder of three media workers belonging to Express Media Group. The three workers, Waqas Aziz Khan, Mohammad Khalid and Ashraf Arain, were allegedly shot dead by militants as they sat in their news van in Karachi. They are among six murders of media workers in Pakistan, as recorded by the CPJ.
A Tribune tally of journalists and media workers killed in Pakistan during 2014 stands at 15.
The report, which called Pakistan “among the most dangerous place for press over time,” said violence against journalists in the country continued. While the deaths were down from previous years, 2014 saw unprecedented violence against journalists from all quarters.
It noted that television anchor Raza Rumi escaped an attack in Lahore in March which saw his driver killed. A month later in April, Geo Television’s senior news anchor Hamid Mir survived after being shot six times just as he left Karachi airport.