QUETTA: Journalists in Quetta continued on Tuesday their protest for the sixth consecutive day against the targeted killings of senior journalist Irshad Mastoi and two media workers.
Law enforcement agencies have thus far failed to find any clue regarding the gruesome killings that took place last week. More than 30 journalists gathered outside the Quetta Press Club, where they staged a noisy protest. Protesters raised slogans against the government for its failure to protect the life and property of people in Quetta. Journalists from Khuzdar, Sibi and other parts of the province also joined the demonstration.
Addressing the protesters, President of Balochistan Union of Journalists Irfan Saeed said target killers are roaming in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan with complete impunity. “Not a single place is safe in Balochistan. On the other hand, the government makes false claims that law and order situation has improved by 70% which is nothing but a naked lie,” he alleged.
Senior journalist Shahazada Zulfiqar said journalists have been targeted and killed for the past couple of years but it could not stop anyone from doing their job, which is to tell the truth. “We lost more than 40 comrades in the line of duty. Considering the incapability of the government, it seems we will lose more precious life. However, we shall make it clear to everyone that journalists will not be scared of anything,” Zulfiqar said.
Pakistan Federation Union of Journalist leader Saleem Shahid said there is no writ of the government. “We do not have security guards nor can we arm journalists. The government and its law enforcing agencies should fulfill their responsibility which they are paid off,” he said.
The journalists paid rich tribute to Irshad Mastoi, young reporter Ghulam Rasul Khajak and an accountant Mohammed Younus, who were killed in their office on August 28.
The protesting journalists said this time it would not tolerate any kind of excuse by investigators. “We are waiting for the inquiry report and we expect from law enforcers to arrest the perpetrators of the crime.
They vowed to intensify their protest in coming days, if progress has not been made into the investigation.