September 07, 2021
ISLAMABAD—Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has expressed deep concern over the threat of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and asked the government and the media houses to take immediate steps to increase security for journalists.
TTP spokesperson Mohammad Khurasani in a statement, warned the media not to use the word terrorists against them; otherwise, the journalists would also be treated as enemies.
In a statement, PFUJ President Shahzada Zulfiqar and Secretary-General Nasir Zaidi have expressed deep concern over the safety of journalists, particularly those working in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They regretted that over 30 journalists have already become victims of target killings by militants in these provinces, and no single case has been resolved or anyone arrested.
The new threat has again raised alarm bells among the journalists’ community. “We are being targeted from both sides,” the statement said. It added that it was high time that the government should accept all the recommendations suggested by the PFUJ in the proposed Journalists’ Safety and Protection Bill.
“We have suggested that the media owners should be bound to provide life insurance to all the employees, particularly those working in the conflict areas,” the statement said. “Media owners should also provide safety gear to those working in the conflict areas and provide them special training in dealing with such situations.”
The president and secretary-general also called upon the National Assembly’s Sub-Committee on Information to seriously consider the amendments suggested by the PFUJ in the proposed bill to make it more effective.
“We have already submitted our clause-by-clause written suggestions on the proposed safety bill, and we believe that the NA Standing Committee on Information will adopt these recommendations without any further delay in the larger interest of the journalists’ community,” the statement said.
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A study conducted by JournalismPakistan.com and Communications Research Strategies on the economic situation of slain journalists' families and journalists displaced due to security threats.