Journalists in NWFP seek protection -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Journalists in NWFP seek protection

PESHAWAR, Jan 6: The Peshawar Press Club and Khyber Union of Journalists (KhUJ) have condemned blowing up of the house of a journalist in the conflict-hit Swat valley.

In a press statement issued here on Tuesday, President KhUJ Suhail Kalandar said that they condemn such acts and demanded security for the journalists working in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) particularly in Swat.

“Journalists working in conflict zones like Swat and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) need security from militants as well as security forces. Media organisation, for which journalists work, should ensure their security,” said Mr Kalandar.

He condemned the destroying of residence of Hameedullah Khan, Dawn’s correspondent in Shakardarra area of Swat.

He said it was ironical that a cameraman’s equipment was insured by the media organisations for which they work but their lives were not insured.

The journalists, he said, were not only facing pressure from the military, stopping them from depicting real situation on ground in the conflict-hit areas, but the militants also imposed their version of the events.

Mr Kalandar said that journalists were faced with challenges and had suffered losses. Security forces had accepted responsibility for killing a journalist, Qari Shoaib, while another journalist Abdul Aziz Shaheen was killed in captivity of militants during bombing on a militant hideout.

Another journalist Sherinzada’s sister was also killed during shelling.

“The destroying of Hameedullah’s house is an act to terrorise journalists working in conflict areas,” Mr Kalandar said and demanded of the government to compensate the affected journalists and their families for the losses and hold inquiries into the killings of Qari Shoaib and Abdul Aziz.

He said that the militants should stop attacking journalists in Swat otherwise journalists would boycott reporting their side of the story.

Shamim Shahid, newly-elected president of Peshawar Press Club, called the incident of destroying of the residence of Hameedullah an inhuman act.

Our Correspondent form Haripur adds: The members of Haripur press club and Haripur Union of Journalists at a meeting condemned the bombing of residence of Hameedullah Khan and demanded security for the life and property of journalists.

Source: Dawn

Date:1/7/2009