QUETTA: The Balochistan government has yet to decide whether or not it should make public a judicial commission’s report on the targeted killing of a senior journalist in Quetta.

Irshad Mastoi, bureau chief of Online news distribution agency, as well as a reporter Abdul Rasul and an accountant Mohammed Younus were killed on August 28, 2014 while they were at work in their office in downtown Quetta.

After the incident, Balochistan High Court (BHC) had formed a judicial commission, which recorded statements of witnesses to probe the killing.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Balochistan Home Secretary Akbar Durrani said judicial commission had submitted its report around two weeks ago.

“The report is sent to Balochistan chief minister and chief secretary and they will decide whether it should be made public or not,” he said.

“We asked the commission to probe murder cases of 14 Balochistan journalists. However, the commission has submitted a report on the triple murder case,” he said.

He said the remaining murder cases will be referred to a sessions court judge as the high court does not have enough judges to look after such a huge number of cases.

The home secretary, however, disputed the figure of Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ), which claims that as many as 40 journalists have so far been killed in Balochistan since 2007

“We have compiled the list of those who are journalists and do not have other jobs,” he said.
Commenting on the issue, the BUJ President Irfan Saeed said they demand judicial investigation into all the 40 cases. He said he will not comment on the report until he himself reviews it.

Meanwhile, other BUJ members said they have the complete list of the murdered media men, adding that they challenged government officials to debate on the number of journalists killed in Balochistan.

They said the government had not properly investigated even a single murder case.

Insurgency-hit Balochistan is one of the worst places in the world for journalists as it faces multiple issues like militancy, extremism, sectarian violence and proxy wars.

Express Tribune

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