Lahore:While condemning the murder of a journalist in Panjgur, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has called for serious and concerted efforts not only to punish the culprits but also to ensure that working journalists can fulfill their duties in an environment of peace and security. In a statement issued here today HRCP said:
“HRCP is shocked at the gruesome killing of journalist Rehmatullah Abid in Panjgur.
This is the sixth journalist casualty in Balochistan this year and it again underlines the increased vulnerability of journalists in Pakistan and the utter collapse of the law and order machinery in Balochistan. The calls by the Balochistan Chief Minister and the federal interior minister for prompt action against the killers inspire little confidence. Their mettle does not need to be tested again and again. The matter cannot be isolated from the wave of killing that is sweeping Balochistan and which is yet to be tackled seriously. The journalists are obviously being targeted by the killer gangs because they do not want their crimes to be reported. By the same token the media persons deserve to receive guarantees of adequate protection from the state and fullest possible support from the community.
It is necessary that organisations of media owners, editors and working journalists should launch a properly coordinated campaign in partnership with the State authorities to create a reasonable cover for all working journalists, especially for those working in conflict and disturbed zones. The task of catching the killers of Mr Abid should be approached with a greater sense of responsibility and will than are noticed in such cases. Besides, both the government and Mr Abid’s employees have a duty to help the victim family to overcome the financial and emotional crisis the assassins’ bullets have created for them.