Rising attack on scribes in Pakistan reminds old days of insecurity in country: Report

Crime reporter Hasnain Shah was shot by unidentified assailants on a motorcycle while sitting in his car outside the Lahore Press Club on Sunday.

Published: 26th January 2022 07:35 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th January 2022 07:35 PM   |  A+A-

Media freedom, press freedom, freedom of press

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ISLAMABAD: The recent broad daylight murder of a crime reporter in Lahore in front of the press club has once again established the grim fact that journalists in Pakistan are getting increasingly prone to losing their life amid rising threat against them, reported local media.

Hasnain Shah was shot by unidentified assailants on a motorcycle while sitting in his car outside the Lahore Press Club on Sunday. He died on the spot. The horrifying incident leaves little doubt about it being a case of targeted killing since two men riding a motorcycle were chasing Shah's car before they fired 10 fatal shots at him close to the local press club, reported The Express Tribune.

The attack on Hasnain Shah might have meant to give a stern warning to all those associated with the dangerous profession of journalism -- one down, thousands to keep quiet, said the Pakistani publication.

Soon after the incident, journalist bodies across Pakistan condemned the murder. The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) on Tuesday strongly condemned the murder of journalists and demanded of the authorities immediately arrest and punish his killers.

Pakistan remains among the five countries in the world most dangerous for journalists. Last year, nearly 63 journalists were killed in the line of duty in the country. Nearly 2,658 journalists have been murdered in Pakistan from 1990 to 2020. They have been targeted for exposing corruption, crime, reporting on environmental pollution and suchlike, said The Express Tribune.

In some cases, journalists in Pakistan also faced detention and intimidation. Different ways are used in the country to threaten journalists and it ranges from the kidnapping of individual journalists or of family members and carrying out toxic propaganda against them.

When it comes to female journalists, these cases are doubly imperilled: they receive both life threats and those relating to their modesty.

Across the world, there are global organizations such as the Committee to Protect Journalists, the International Federation of Journalists, Reporters without Borders, and others to defend journalists. But these bodies are not invested with powers to punish perpetrators of crime.

These bodies perform the function of raising awareness about violence against journalists and make efforts to influence authorities in the world to put in place improved mechanisms for the protection of journalists. However, Journalists in Pakistan currently face a spike in that attacks and are being intimidated for their revelations, according to The Express Tribune.

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