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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More