PFUJ terms 2014 worst for Pakistani media
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has termed the year 2014 as among the worst in a decade for Pakistani media, when 14 journalists and media workers were killed but not a single case of these incidents was prosecuted in a court of law, for one reason or the other.
The year 2014 is ending with 14 deaths in the media in Pakistan with eight journalists and six media workers killed across the country in various incidents targeting journalists, media workers and media houses.
The PFUJ in its report released by Secretary General Khursheed Abbasi said media rivalries also led to a series of attacks on journalists and media employees belonging to Geo News by the workers of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Female journalists and anchors became the target and they were physically harassed during the political rallies. PFUJ report revealed that the inside rivalries among the media houses, also threatened the lives of the journalists. One female anchor quit the profession and left Pakistan, after a rival channel aired number of shows, accusing her and her team for blasphemous charges. Despite her repeated apology she could not return back to Pakistan.
These media rivalries also resulted in the registration of around 70 cases and made the journalists feel more insecure while performing their professional duties.Khursheed Abbasi termed the incidents occurred on January 17 in Karachi and August 28 in Quetta as worst in which two journalists and four media employees were killed. Pakistan has already been rated as among the 3rd most dangerous countries for journalists around the world after Gaza and Syria.
PFUJ report of 2014 cited Balochistan as the most dangerous province for working journalists, where “freedom of the press,” does not exist and even journalists working in the newsroom feel more insecure.
PFUJ feared that the year 2015 could be a difficult year for journalists particularly for those working in the conflict areas after the reports that operation “Zarb-e-Azb,” is likely to expand to other cities.
It has declared 2015 as the “Year of Safety for Journalists and Media Workers.” During the year, PFUJ will organise safety and ethical courses in all the major cities, promote ethical journalism and would try to ensure legislation to end impunity.
In 2014, eight journalists were killed including Jewan Arian (Gambat Khirpur), Shan Dahar (Larkana), Irshad Mastoi (Quetta), Afzal Khawaja (Jafferabad), Yaqoob Shehzad (Hafizabad) Nadeem Hyder (Hafizabad), Shehzad Iqbal (Mianwali) and Ibrar Tanoli (Abbottabad).
In 2014 six slain media persons are Muhammad Mustafa, Muhammad Abdur Rasool, Muhammad Younas, Waqas Aziz Khan, Khalid Khan and Ashraf Arian.“What makes the year as the worst in a decade is not only because of the rise in the number of journalists and media employees killed but the manner in which they were targeted,” Abbasi said.
PFUJ further stated that despite promises and assurances the government neither been able to arrest the assailants nor their cases were proceeded in any court of law, making lives of journalists and other media staff members more and more insecure.
It also pointed out that neither the investigation into Hamid Mir case has been prosecuted nor the findings of the report of the three judges Judicial Commission have been made public.