Across Pakistan, journalists, mostly those engaged in sensitive areas, are at risk of fatal attacks on their lives. This is generally common in the country and particularly true in Karachi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Balochistan where threats to journalists are normal. Nevertheless, these incidents, especially when they go unchecked and unpunished, undermine the act and encourage the murderers.
According to Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 54 Journalists have lost their lives in line of duty during last two decades, and in 2015 another name was added to the budding list of Journalists targeted by extremists. Shamim Masih, a Pakistani Christen Journalist, believing in the faithful stories of Christianity, was badly tortured in Islamabad, while he run-away from death but suffered to damages. As per reports, an extremist organization is believed to be responsible for the attack.
The public owned media proprietorship is a main factor in manipulating the journalists in Pakistani Mainstream Media. Over the past many years, several journalists have been threatened through cell-phone calls and messages by the special retained wings of Media proprietors for the purpose of competition with their counterparts in the news battle. The threats and targets of journalists might well be a reaction to counter the news business of the most competitive media counterparts.
While the journalist fellows are raising voice in the media stream to keep themselves safe, the relatives and siblings have correspondingly tough jobs when they come to protest in front of press clubs from alarming threats, notably messages. Therefore the state needs to look into the matter how it can improve life insurances to better safety journalists, particularly those busy in sensitive areas. Journalists should be provided with life insurance and protection from threats that they receive on regular basis.
Media is the fourth pillar of any state. When the media workers are easily targeted by extremists then it makes the state weak and this fact should not be ignored. Therefore, Pakistani society as a whole needs to protect the journalistic community to ensure the flow of truth from corridors of power to general public.
Author is a student of Social Sciences at Quaid-e- Azam University in Islamabad
Published in The Balochistan Point on June 16, 2015
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are those of the author and The Balochistan Point not necessarily agrees them.