Pakistan ‘most dangerous’ country for journalists | Pakistan Today

Pakistan ‘most dangerous’ country for journalists

Pakistan is the most dangerous country in South Asia for journalists, according to a report by South Asia Media Commission. South Asia Media Monitor 2012 report indicated that at least 25 journalists lost their lives in the region. Pakistan ranked as the most volatile nation for journalists with 13 media men killed, closely followed by India where five journalists lost their lives. At least three journalists were killed in Bangladesh, two in Nepal and two in Afghanistan. No journalists were killed in Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Maldives. The report indicated several countries, including Pakistan, failed to uphold UN Security Council Resolution 1738 regarding protection of journalists in dangerous areas. Furthermore, the report said that physical security of journalists posed a serious threat to freedom of expression in the South Asian region. Insurgency-hit province of Balochistan and northern parts of Pakistan were the most dangerous areas for journalists, the report said. Moreover, the report said that 13 journalists lost their lives in these conflict zones. The report further said that killings of five journalists in India pointed to growing threats to freedom of expression in the country. The report indicated that journalists faced most threats in the conflict-zone of Kashmir, adding that journalists in the region were not provided any security. Furthermore, political polarisation in Bangladesh was a cause of concern to the media watchdog. The report expressed concern that acrimony between major political parties posed a serious threat to journalists working in the country. The report further said that increased political tensions had caused polarisation among media companies, causing the death of three journalists, including a couple. The report also suggested a decline in freedom of expression in Nepal with increasing government intervention in the media. The report condemned the beheading of a journalist in Afghanistan, stressing that journalism continued to be a hazardous profession in the country. Afghan media faced tightening laws by the government and shortage of funds as most foreign outlets prepared to leave the country, the report added. Furthermore, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Maldives faced a growing challenge of sustaining plural media as governments continued to intervene in information sharing. The report said that journalists of these countries were underpaid and overworked, adding that several corporations had laid off hundreds of journalists in the wake of a general economic crisis in the region.



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