Islamabad, Feb 10 (IANS) Pakistan is notorious for increasing incidents of killings of journalists and is considered one of the most dangerous places for media persons in the world, said a Pakistani daily on Wednesday.
An editorial “Media under siege” in the Daily Times said that an attack on City 42 television channel’s office in Lahore by unidentified armed men has “further panicked journalists, who are already living under the shadow of fear due to constant threats from the terrorists”.
So far the police are clueless about the perpetrators of the attack.
“In the wake of similar attacks on media offices and personnel in Lahore, Faisalabad and Karachi, this emerging onslaught on the media is becoming more common, with the obvious aim of further stifling its freedom.
“It seems part of a broader agenda to put the mainstream media under siege. The journalist community and political parties’ leaders have condemned the attack and demanded the arrest of the culprits as soon as possible,” the daily said.
The editorial observed that the “attack prompted the lawmakers of the Punjab Assembly to move a joint resolution while the journalist community staged a protest demonstration to press for their demands to be provided security”.
Noting that the profession of journalism has always been a challenging job in Pakistan, the daily said: “Nowadays, media houses are vulnerable to terrorist attacks. It is the state’s responsibility to provide protection to journalists inside and outside their workplaces.”
It went on to say that Pakistan has “already become notorious for increasing incidents of killings of journalists and is considered one of the most dangerous places for media persons in the world”.
“Not only the government but media managements should also take stringent measures as the scale of the threat is very large and the personnel of the law enforcement agencies by themselves cannot ensure the security of all media outlets.”
It said that coordinated efforts by the authorities and managements may be the best way forward for the security of media offices and journalists.
“Stronger preventive measures and protection must be undertaken while reviewing existing security protocols for possible loopholes. In an environment of fear, the media cannot play its due role, which is critical in countering the terrorists’ narrative,” the daily added.