Media associations condemn killing of journalists


South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA), South Asia Media Commission (SAMC) and Media Commission-Pakistan (MCP) on Thursday condemned the killings of two journalists in one week.

The joint statement was released by SAFMA Secretary General Imtiaz Alam, SAMC Secretary General M Ziauddin, and Media Commission-Pakistan’s President Arif Nizami and General Secretary Babar Ayaz.

According to the statement, Malik Mumtaz, a correspondent for Jang, The News and Geo News and president of the Miranshah Press Club, was killed in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) when he was returning home after visiting a nearby village.

“Journalists in Pakistan are pursuing a hazardous profession. They are being targeted with impunity. Had the killers of any one of the 50 journalists killed in the last few years been caught and punished, the security situation for the country’s media would have been better,” the statement said.

They also expressed outrage over the death of the chief reporter of the state-controlled Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) wire agency in Karachi, Khushnood Ali Sheikh, in a hit-and-run accident by a car near his house after receiving threats following his refusal to pay extortion money.

“We extend our condolences to the families of the two journalists. We demand that the government immediately find and punish those behind these attacks,” they said. They also demanded that compensation to the journalists’ families be paid by the employers and government.

SAMC’s South Asia Media Monitor report has recorded killing of 13 journalists in Pakistan in 2012.