The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is gravely concerned about the ongoing violence targeted against journalists in Pakistan after two separate media organisations were attacked with hand grenades on the evening of Monday, February 17.
IFJ affiliate the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has reported that the offices of news channel Aaj Group (Daily Business Recorder) and Daily Nawai-e-Waqt Group (Waqt TV) were attacked the same night.
A blast outside the main gate of the Aaj Group offices injured a security guard and an unexploded device was later found outside the Daily Nawai-e-Waqt Group’s offices in the same Gurumandir area of Karachi. The grenade that exploded outside the Aaj Group offices was thrown by unknown motorcyclists who immediately fled the vicinity.
The attacks come after a series of nationwide journalist protests to mourn and protest the tragic escalation in journalist killings in Pakistan since the beginning of 2014. Five journalists have been killed in Pakistan already this year – half of the entire amount killed in 2013.
The PFUJ again took to the streets today to protest this latest attack.
On January 17, Express News employees Waqas Aziz Khan, Khalid Khan and Ashraf Arian were fired upon and killed as they sat in an Express TV van in Karachi. Following the incident, the IFJ issued a letter to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif calling for “serious and overdue action” to protect Pakistani journalists and to bring the attackers to justice.
Following this call Prime Minister Sharif announced peace talks between a four-member committee that included two senior journalists, and the group that claimed responsibility for the January 17 attack, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), but these were cancelled after the TTP claimed they had killed 23 Pakistani soldiers held in custody since 2010.
The IFJ joins the PFUJ in condemning the recent attacks in Karachi and calls on the government of Pakistan to urgently provide security to media workers and media organisations.
“The PFUJ is disappointed in the government’s failure to provide security after the attacks on the Express group offices. Karachi is the economic hub of Pakistan and all media houses have main offices there. Government must ensure suitable and safest security to media persons and media houses as soon as possible,” the PFUJ said.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950
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