PCOMS urges government for serious action in cases of two missing journalists

Karachi, 28 Jan 2015: Pakistan Coalition on Media Safety, PCOMS expressed concern over the complete silence in the cases of two missing journalists from Sindh.

Hakim Abro, a journalist from Ghotki was abducted on April 22nd, incidentally while he was travelling with a police constable. Despite the passage of over 3 months since his abduction, there has been no reported progress in his case. Hakim was associated with Dharti TV. Another journalist, Shahid Ali, went missing from Sukkur on June 2nd. Ali was working with Bol News and has previously been associated with Geo News. Despite continued protests from journalist bodies, there has been no known development to recover these journalists from their abductors.

PCOMS members condemned this callous attitude of the authorities in these cases and called the lack of action deplorable. PCOMS members also condemned the killing of Baloch journalist Zafarullah Jattak, and once again stressed the need to end impunity in journalist killings. Jattak was killed on June 28th at his home in Quetta.

The meeting expressed concern over the lack of transparency in the investigations of journalists’ killings. The committee urged the government to make public the report of judicial commission investigating the attack on senior journalist Hamid Mir.

The meeting also endorsed and welcomed UN Resolution 22/22 passed in May 2015, focusing on journalist safety. Members talked about the need to share the resolution further and capitalise upon its potential. Members requested UNESCO, the UN Agency with the mandate of journalist safety to facilitate a national consultation on the resolution.

The steering committee members welcomed the progress made by PCOMS and called for proactive action by PCOMS in developing a consolidated and comprehensive action plan and mechanisms for safety of journalists.