news Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | September 15, 2014 | 11.54 am IST

Pakistan is one of the most dangerous places for journalists to work, with 44 journalists killed because of their work in the last decade.

Pakistani English daily Dawn reported that just over two weeks ago, a Balochi journalist, an intern and another person were gunned down on the premises of the ARY News news agency in Quetta. 

Writing for Dawn, Raza Rumi traces the murders of journalists in the last few years, targeted for their perceived opposition to the Balochi nationalist cause in some cases. But even those sympathetic to the Balochi militants have been killed.

Rumi writes: “There is a dark history – and an equally murky present – when it comes to journalists working in Balochistan. Since the reawakening of the Baloch separatist movement after the murder of Nawab Akbar Bugti in 2006 and the subsequent security operations, the security situation in the province has deteriorated - with journalists being at the center of this conflict.”

With the rise of separatist groups, the pressure on journalists has increased: “Last year, the courts had stopped journalists from reporting on the banned groups in Balochistan. This only created more worries for the local reporters as they face pressure to project the views of the separatists. For years, the authorities have allowed the transmission of views of other banned outfits such as the Pakistani Taliban and the violent sectarian networks. This is why such strictures from the state compound the situation and raise questions on its intent and policy.”

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