LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has condemned the killing of journalist Mukarram Khan Atif by armed men in Charsadda and expressed concern that journalists’ killings have continued across the country despite assurances by the authorities.
A statement issued by HRCP on Wednesday said: “It is exceedingly unfortunate that despite repeated assurances by the government to protect journalists, Mukarram Khan Atif was killed in Shabqadar, on Tuesday. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) acceptance for the ghastly deed and its admission that the victim was targeted for his professional work underlines the perils journalists are increasingly being exposed to.
At least 17 journalists and media workers were killed in Pakistan in 2011 alone. The statement reveals that all the indications suggest that this too would be a bad year for Pakistani journalists. “Despite the interior minister’s advice to journalists last year that they should arm themselves for their safety, the journalists and civil society still expects that the authorities would show more resolve in protecting journalists and tracking down their killers rather than washing their hands of key obligations. The government must realise that if it has tried anything to ensure protection for journalists that clearly have not worked”.
HRCP statement said that it is not entirely unreasonable for the journalists to question the government’s commitment to protect them in view of its failure to bring to justice the killers of even one of the many journalists killed during its tenure.
Originally published here.