November 04, 2015
NEW YORK: The Committee to Protect Journalists has called for Pakistan to investigate the killing of local journalist Zaman Mehsud who was shot dead in Tank district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday.
The 40-year-old journalist was the president and secretary-general of the Tribal Union of Journalists' South Waziristan chapter and worked for the Urdu-language Daily Ummat. He was also the district coordinator of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in Tank, an independent group critical of all sides in the ongoing conflict in Pakistan.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, with its commander Qari Saif Ullah Saif telling Reuters: "We killed him because he was writing against us ... we have some other journalists on our hit list in the region, soon we will target them." It is difficult to verify such claims independently.
"Whether it was related to his work as a journalist or for the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan or some other reason, the murder of such a widely respected figure as Zaman Mehsud deserves the full attention of investigative authorities," said Bob Dietz, CPJ's Asia program coordinator. "Pakistan can ill afford to add to its history of impunity for murderers, no matter who claims responsibility."
Pakistan ranks ninth on CPJ's global Impunity Index, which analyzes countries where journalists are murdered and their killers go free. CPJ data shows that 22 journalists have been murdered with impunity in the past decade.
Impunity remains the norm not only in these murders but also in a slew of non-fatal attacks, such as the shooting that gravely injured news anchor Hamid Mir in 2014. Threats to journalists come from military and intelligence agencies, political parties, criminal groups and militants, and corrupt local leaders, CPJ has found. - CPJ
Pakistan Observer, November 6, 2016