Monday, 09 July 2012 12:56:07
Pressure groups harassing media persons in Balochistan
QUETTA, July 8 (APP): Different pressure groups and powerful elements
have been harassing and terrifying media persons in Balochistan as some
22 journalists have been killed in the province during last four years.
This was stated in a workshop on 'Media and Civil Society in
Balochistan' organized by the Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) in collaboration with the Association for Integrated Development (AID) here on Sunday.
Speaking on the occasion, senior journalist and Executive Director
CRSS Imtiaz Gul said,"Media is facing challenges, constraints and operational difficulties in reporting in Balochistan." It is the duty of all the stake-holders to spare the media from their rivalries and not subject them to fear, intimidation and dictation, he added.
He said it was the responsibility of both the media and the civil
society to face up to the challenges that the province faces today.
Mr. Gul also paid tribute to the 22 journalists who lost their lives in
Balochistan in the last four years.
Abdul Khaliq Rind, the General Secretary of Quetta Press Club, said that media and other sectors have been facing problems in the province. Decades of discrimination have resulted in intellectual and economic backwardness in Balochistan, he added.
Khalil Ahmed of Dawn News TV said that media was not free in Balochistan as the journalists had become sandwich among extremist groups.
Irfan Rana of Express Newspaper/TV said there were lots of hazards of reporting in Balochistan. "We have to follow blasts / attacks and usually we are exposed to terrorist attacks," he added.
Mr Rana said the pressure groups ask the journalists to report events
as per their directive and warned of dire consequences if their 'orders' were not obeyed.
Shahid Rind of ARY TV said that media was facing pressure from political leaders, militants and criminals. "We get dictation from all stakeholders. We cannot follow journalistic norms as we face threats, intimidation and censure," he said, adding that there were red lines and they could not dare to have objective reporting.
Abdullah Baloch of Balochi language news channel WASH TV said that the objective reporting was the biggest challenge as media in Balochistan was pressurized and media persons could not report objectively. "Even NGOs and trade unions put pressure on journalists to file news stories as per their dictation," he said.
Akbar Sheikh said that if jobs are given to thousands of unemployed university and college graduates in Balochistan, it would help make the society tolerant.
Others who spoke included Liaquat Ail, Aslam Baloch, Arshad Jan and Hammad Sanjrani. Senior Vice President National Party, Dr. Ishaq Baloch and Senior Journalist Shehzada Zulfiqar were also present on this occasion.