QUETTA: Journalists took out a protest rally in Quetta on Sunday against the killing of Razzaq Gul, an Express News correspondent, whose bullet-riddled body was found dumped near his residence in Turbat on May 19.
Gul had worked for around 10 years for the organisation as district-based reporter. The Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ) said Gul was amongst the 21 journalists who have lost their lives on duty.
As many as 17 journalists were killed during the past three years in Balochistan.
The Human Rights Commission Pakistan (HRCP) – Balochistan Chapter activists, teachers, relatives of missing persons and traders also joined the rally. The procession started and then concluded outside the Quetta Press Club after marching through different roads.
The journalists and human rights activists called upon the government and the judiciary to investigate the murder. The protestors raised slogans against the law enforcement agencies for failing to provide protection to the common people in Balochistan.
Addressing the protestors, BUJ President Essa Tareen said that it has become difficult for professional journalists to perform their duties independently. “Several journalists were killed but not a single culprit was arrested in this connection, “he said.
Tareen went on to say that those who have a complaint or are not happy with the reporting of any journalist, should approach various journalist bodies, media outlets and other senior journalists rather than killing the person.
“We have lost many of our colleagues. This ongoing trend has affected journalism in Balochistan, where reporters are working in a war-like situation,” he added.
Senior journalist Anwar Sajidi said that the writ of the government does not exist in Balochistan. “Balochistan is the most dangerous place in the world for journalists, where more media persons are killed than in Afghanistan,” he told the protestors.
“Balochistan is a war-zone while journalists are not trained and equipped with necessary safety tools needed in such a situation. All I can say to the journalists is that they should be careful and help themselves to deal with the situation,” Sajidi added.
President of the Quetta Press Club Saleem Shahid said that the targeted killings will not stop journalists from doing their job. “We will continue with our work,” he said.
Senior Journalist Shahzada Zulfiqar, HRCP Council Member Zahoor Shahwani Advocate and others also spoke on the occasion and demanded protection for the journalists working in Balochistan.
More in BalochistanProtest over murder of journalist Razzaq Gul