Death Toll of Pakistan’s Journalists Hits Nine for the Year
October 14 2013
Impunity Rampant as Death Toll of Pakistan’s Journalists Hits Nine for the Year
The gunning down of a journalist outside his home in the district of Karak in Pakistan’s northern province on October 11 has taken the country’s journalist death toll to nine this year.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) expresses its shock at the brutal killing of journalist Ayub Khattak and grave concern for the ongoing safety of journalists as Pakistan’s death toll reached a global high for 2013.
According to information available from the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), an IFJ affiliate, Ayub Khattak had just left his residence in the Takht Nusrati area of Karak when unknown assailants opened fire on him. He died at the scene.
Khattak was associated with Jang, one of Pakistan’s largest media groups, which publishes the Urdu daily Jang, the English daily News International and owns the GEO broadcast network.
PFUJ President Pervaiz Shaukat and Secretary-General Amin Yousuf have strongly condemned the attack and deplored the situation that allows attacks on Pakistan’s journalists to continue under a cloak of impunity.
Ayub Khattak’s killing comes a day after another journalist Sardar Shafiq was attacked with iron rods as he left his office in Peshawar city, capital of KP province late Thursday night.
This latest death brings the grim tally of journalists killed in Pakistan since the beginning of 2000, to ninety-three.
The PFUJ has identified two distinct phases in this story of multiplying hazards for journalists in Pakistan. Between the beginning of the year 2000 and the end of 2006, eighteen journalists were killed in Pakistan: three every year, or one every 122 days. Since then, till the end of 2012, sixty-six journalists have been killed, or eleven every year, one every 33 days.
“We call on the provincial and federal authorities in Pakistan to devote their urgent attention to the rising hazards that journalists in the country face”, said the IFJ Asia Pacific.
“The situation is especially serious in the provinces of KP and Balochistan”.
“The IFJ reaffirms its commitment to campaign for an end to the reign of impunity in Pakistan”.
“We call on all partners and affiliates in South Asia and the elsewhere to join in the campaign to make the practice of journalism secure from fear. November 23, which is designated the global day of action against impunity, should witness the manner of focused and purposive action that would make the authorities and media managements in Pakistan and elsewhere, take note of the urgency of the matter”.
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries
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