Killing of two Pakistani journalists a huge setback for democratic media, says IFJ

The recent killing of two Pakistani journalists by tribesman in the country’s South Waziristan region, is a “huge setback “ for the development of a democratic media system in Pakistan, said the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today.

“This horrific incident signals a huge setback for the development of a free and independent media in Pakistan,” said IFJ president, Christopher Warren.

Amir Nawad, a freelance journalist for the Associated Press Television News (APTN), and Allah Noor, who worked for a local Pakistani TV channel Khyber TV, were killed after gunmen opened fire on their car travelling back to the region’s main town, Wana.

Anwar Shakir, who works for Agence France-Presse (AFP) was also seriously wounded in the attack.

The journalists were in the area reporting on the surrender of a pro-Taliban Pakistani militant, Baitullah Mehsud, wanted for sheltering al-Qaeda suspects in the tribal area.

Mehsud joined in signing a peace agreement between Mehsud tribesmen and Pakistani authorities, which stipulated that no support would be given to al-Qaeda or Taliban militants, nor would attacks be carried out on government installations.

The peace agreement comes after almost a year of large-scale operations carried out by the Pakistani army against suspected foreign Islamic militants in the region.

“Journalists play an important role in conflict situations, and one of these roles can be to build on the peace process,” said Christopher Warren

“We are extremely saddened that two journalists had their lives brutally taken for reporting on a peace agreement,” said Warren.

For further information contact Christopher Warren on +61 (0) 411 757 668

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries