Protests against killing of journalists in Balochistan
QUETTA: Local journalists and activists of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan held a demonstration on Sunday against the killing of a journalist in Turbat area of Kech district.
The bullet-riddled body of Razzaq Gul, who worked for the Express TV, was found in Turbat on Saturday. He was kidnapped and killed by unknown people and his body was found dumped near a hospital.
A large number of journalists, HRCP activists and workers of Labour Federation marched on the Jinnah road and Iqbal road chanting slogans against the government. They were carrying black flags, placards and banners inscribed with their demands.
The rally, organised by the Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ), started from the Quetta Press Club and was led by BUJ President Essa Tareen and senior journalists.
Later, the protesting journalists gathered in front of the Quetta Press Club.
Addressing the rally, BUJ President Essa Tareen condemned the murder of Razzaq Gul and expressed deep concern over non-stop killing of
journalists in Balochistan.
“More than 18 journalists have been killed in Balochistan, but no murderer has been arrested by the authorities,” he said, and regretted that the rulers did not even bother to issue a single statement against the killing of journalists.
Quetta Press Club President Saleem Shahid said that journalism was a mission and any mission needed scarifies and hardships to be completed.
“The right of expression is the basic right of any citizen and it cannot be snatched from anybody,” he said, and demanded immediate arrest of people behind the murder of Mr Gul and other journalists.
Anwar Sajidi, a senior journalist, said that Balochistan was in a state of war, therefore, journalists should take steps for their safety themselves since the government had completely failed to do so. He said killing of journalists was continuing and more than a dozen journalists had been brutally killed. “Balochistan is a war zone and this should be understood by journalists,” he added.
Shahzada Zulfiqar, former president of Quetta Press Club, said the murder of Mr Gul was a clear message to media and journalists who were performing their duty in an extremely dangerous situation in the province and were trying their best to report only the truth and dig out facts as far as possible.
He said the continued killing of journalists was aimed at pressuring media and journalists to refrain from reporting the facts.
Mr Zulfiqar pledged that journalists would continue their impartial reporting and the killing of their fellow journalists would not stop them from presenting facts.
Balochistan Bar Association President and human right activist Advocate Zahoor Ahmed Shahwani regretted that the government had completely failed to ensure security to all people guaranteed by Constitution and held out an assurance to journalists that lawyers would always stand with the journalist fraternity.
The President of All Balochistan Council of Press Clubs, A. Bangulzai, while speaking on the occasion, announced launching of a protest movement against the killing of journalists in Balochistan from June 1.