News / Asia

Media Group Presses Pakistan to Protect Journalists

Pakistani journalists hold a poster of Karachi-based slain journalist Wali Khan Babar during a protest in Peshawar, Pakistan, Jan. 14, 2011.
Pakistani journalists hold a poster of Karachi-based slain journalist Wali Khan Babar during a protest in Peshawar, Pakistan, Jan. 14, 2011.
Ayaz Gul
An international media watchdog says Pakistan's government has pledged to improve security for journalists and include the issue in upcoming peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban.  

A delegation of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists met Wednesday with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to press him to address what the group says is his “country’s long-standing record of impunity in journalist murders.”

Delegation leader Katie Marton says the Pakistani leader made “significant and strong pledges” to take immediate steps to address the insecurity plaguing the country’s journalists and bring to justice those responsible for violence against the press.

“He is going to appoint a special prosecutor and four regional special prosecutors to deal specifically with the issues of threats and crimes against journalists," Marton said. "He is going to expedite the long-stalled murder cases against the journalists that we have documented, and we gave him a document listing all the unsolved murder cases in the last decade.  And he is going to put in place security measures for judges and witnesses.”

She said of the 25 journalists killed in Pakistan in the past decade only one case has been prosecuted, blaming the unresolved cases for rising violence against the media. Marton underscored the need for providing a secure environment.

“The media are highly active and vibrant and there are no free speech issues here, unlike in many other countries," she said. "However, there is also insecurity and violence in Pakistan and reporters are targeted merely for doing their job.”

After the meeting, Sharif's office said in a statement a "media commission" is being set up to create measures to protect journalists and suggest ways and means to effectively monitor prosecution of crimes against the press.

Most of the violence against journalists has taken place in Pakistan’s northwestern districts close to tribal areas which are strongholds of foreign and local militants.  The Sharif government recently initiated a peace process with the Pakistani Taliban waging a bloody insurgency against the state.

Marton said her delegation urged the prime minister to ensure protection of journalists while he pursues a dialogue with militant groups.

“He pledged in his upcoming talks with the Taliban to make press rights and the press security issue a priority on his agenda."

The Committee to Protect Journalists and other media watchdogs say threats to journalists in Pakistan are no longer confined to northwestern regions.

They say reporters face persistent threats in major cities, including Islamabad and Karachi, where leading political parties are also blamed for carrying out anti-press violence.

You May Like

US Border Patrol Union Accused of Taking Sides on Immigration

Report alleges agents leaking info to immigration opponents, appearing at their private events; Center for Immigration Studies director defends agents' actions More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

Video Rights Monitor: Hate Groups' Use of Internet to Inflame, Recruit Growing

Wiesenthal Center's Abraham Cooper says extremists have become skilled at celebrating violence, ideology on Web More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MUSTAFA from: INDIA
March 19, 2014 2:15 PM
Nawaz shariff,Imran khan and Zardari are very weak leaders in the history of Pakistan. Zaradari and his party leaders are passing lavish life in Dubai at the cost of poor Pakistani. Nawaz has good business interest in Saudia and he is just passing time with promise and promise and promise only. He has no idea or he is not willing to solve the basic problem of Poor Pakistani. Imran Khan wants a New Pakistan. He cannot control one province how he can control New Pakistan. Pakistani leadership do not have brain to solve Poor Pakistani Problems. They have New Innovative ideas to increase PAIN in their daily life.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs