Journalism soaked in blood

Editorial June 24, 2024


At least 42 journalists have been killed in Pakistan over the last four years, according to what the Senate was informed earlier this year. The list has only grown since then, with Khalil Jibran being the latest addition. The journalist was dragged out of a vehicle, separated from his friends and shot dead in the Landi Kotal tehsil of Khyber district by unidentified assailants. Less than a month ago, journalist Nasrullah Gadani, who was shot at and wounded by armed assailants in Mirpur Mathelo, died during treatment in Karachi. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), four journalists were killed in May in what can be described as an uptick in violence against the press. With the country slipping down the World Press Freedom Index over the past few years, those who commit such brazen crimes against journalists in Pakistan rarely get caught.

Journalists in Pakistan face a myriad of threats. There are plenty of actors, from militants to elements within the state security apparatus, who do not want journalists to report certain stories. The threats have only multiplied over the years and the government has remained powerless to offer any semblance of security to the media. Pakistan measures up to or at times surpasses active war zones in terms of attacks on journalists. The sad truth is that those who commit such acts of violence with impunity know that they can get away with it. This must change. The government must take tangible and credible steps to pursue those who killed Jibran and other journalists and bring them to justice. The media is the fourth pillar of democracy. The state must ensure that the media operates in a violence-free atmosphere.



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