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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid