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Year 2010 deadliest for Pakistani journalists: report

ISLAMABAD, — The year 2010 is the deadliest one for Pakistani journalists as at least 12 journalists lost their lives in the line of duty across the country, local media reported on Wednesday.

According to daily The Express Tribune, this was revealed Tuesday in the annual report “South Asia Media Monitor 2010” released by South Asia Media Commission (SAMC) and Media Commission Pakistan (MCP).

SAMC Vice President Afzal Khan presented the report at the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) Center, where a large number of journalists, intellectuals and members of civil society were present.

According to the report, at least 20 journalists were killed in South Asia, with Pakistan ranking as the deadliest country in the region. Three journalists were killed in Nepal, two in Afghanistan.

Half of the Pakistani journalists were killed as direct result of terrorist attacks on public gatherings. Many journalists were also kidnapped by militants and security forces in the tribal areas.

A large number of media persons migrate from Pakistani tribal areas to save their lives amid imminent threats.

Senior Pakistani journalists said that the media has become sandwiched between state and non-state actors and is threatened by both sides.

Afzal Khan said that the death toll of journalists is alarming and this report provides analytical and comprehensive information on the real factors behind their deaths.

He pinpointed that there are certain grey areas in Balochistan province and tribal areas where the threats to their lives seriously hinders the performance of their professional duties.

On the occasion senior journalists also suggested having an independent body to investigate the killings of working journalists.

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