Journalists in Quetta protested on Sunday against the murder of journalist Razzaq Gul whose bullet-riddled body was found dumped near his residence in Turbat a day earlier.
Razzaq Gul was a Express News correspondent in Turbat city and had been employed with the organisation for nearly 10 years as a district-based correspondent.
The Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ) released a statement on Sunday, saying Gul was the 21st journalist to have lost his life in the line of duty in the restive province.
Activists of Human Rights Commission Pakistan, Balochistan chapter, teachers, relatives of Baloch missing persons and traders also joined the demonstration. The procession began outside the Quetta Press Club. Journalists and HRCP Balochistan called upon the government and judiciary to probe the murder of Razzaq Gul. Protesters chanted slogans against law enforcement agencies for their failure to protect the life of the common people in Balochistan while journalists carried placards and banners inscribed with slogans in support of their demands.
Addressing protesters, Essa Tareen said it has become difficult for professional journalists to perform their duty independently.
Senior Journalist Anwar Sajidi said Balochistan is one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists. “More media persons were killed in Balochistan than in Afghanistan,” he told the protesters. “Balochistan is a war-zone while journalists are not trained and equipped with necessary safety tools needed in a war-zone.”
Quetta Press Club President Saleem Shahid said targeted killings will not bar journalists from their responsibility. “We will not be scared of anything and continue our work with dedication,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 21st, 2012.