KARACHI: Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has strongly condemned the killing of Munir Shakir in Balochistan, on August 14.
Shakir was heading home from Khuzdar Press Club when some unknown armed men opened fire on him. He was taken to District Headquarters Hospital, where he passed away.
According to Abdul Rasheed Butt, member of Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ), Shakir worked for Online News Network and was also the correspondent of Balochi TV, Sabzbagh.
Butt said Shakir had never received any threats. The deceased journalist was in his early 30s and had been associated with journalism for the last 7 to 8 years.
In a statement, PFUJ President Pervaiz Shaukat condemned the latest killing. He said Shakir's murder exposed the government's failure to safeguard the lives of journalists.
He said since the start of 2011, a large number of journalists have been killed in the line of duty and the security people have miserably failed to nab the culprits and provide safety to media persons.
PFUJ Secretary-General Amin Yousuf strongly condemned the latest target killing of Shakir. He came down hard on the government, criticizing it for failing to protect the lives of journalists. He said the government had not taken any notice of the target killing. "The PFUJ would be left with no choice but to take extreme steps if this trend did not stop," Yousuf said.
Journalists are being targeted for their work, and they are performing their duties under the most trying times, he added.
Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ) President Esa Tareen also condemned the incident. He said this was not the first incident in Balochistan as many journalists had been threatened, attacked, injured and even killed in the past. He said this was a continuing trend and none of the culprits had ever been arrested.
Tareen termed it as a conspiracy against journalists and demanded the government to unveil the conspiracy and expose the perpetrators of the crime. He said journalists in various districts of Balochistan were providing information and reporting without any salary and on top of it were being threatened by various elements.
He said due to the insecure situation prevailing in the province, many journalists have been compelled to leave the profession. He stressed on the government to take notice of the killing and take concrete steps to provide security to them as this was giving a bad name to Pakistan in the international community.
(Read: "Pakistan 10th on list of deadliest places for journalists: Report")