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Pakistan

Blog   |   Brazil, Mexico, Pakistan, Security, Syria

Back-to-back display killings of journalists unprecedented

The apparent back-to-back murders of two American freelance journalists by the same group are unprecedented in CPJ's history. The beheadings on camera in a two-week period of first James Foley and then Steven Sotloff appear to be an acceleration of a pattern--dating at least to Daniel Pearl's killing in 2002--of criminal and insurgent groups displaying the murders of journalists to send a broad message of terror.

Blog   |   Pakistan

Threats and attacks against press amid political crisis in Pakistan

A protester enters the newsroom of the state-run Pakistan Television which was stormed on Monday. (AFP/Aamir Qureshi)

The ongoing political crisis in Pakistan turned deadly over the weekend with three protesters dead and at least 500 wounded in the capital, Islamabad. As is often the case, the press was not spared from violence, with dozens of journalists covering the rally injured by police or protesters, according to news reports and the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists.

Blog   |   Pakistan

Q&A: Pakistan's Hamid Mir speaks about climate for press freedom following attack

Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir after being attacked by unknown assailants. (AP/Anjum Naveed)

In April, Geo News senior anchor Hamid Mir was shot multiple times shortly after a CPJ delegation met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who pledged to take several steps to improve journalist security. The investigation into the attack has yielded no accountability. And since the attack, two arrest warrants have been issued by courts in Quetta and Lahore against Mir, and Geo continues to face challenges.

August 5, 2014 3:39 PM ET

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Blog   |   Pakistan

A message from the Pakistan Taliban

Villagers flee Pakistani tribal areas in North Waziristan following a massive crackdown on militants by the Pakistan army. (AP/B.K. Bangash)

CPJ received an email message from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan-- the Pakistan Taliban--this morning. Signed by the "Media commission, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Mohmand agency," the message was addressed to CPJ and our colleagues at Reporters Without Borders.

Blog   |   Pakistan

Blasphemy charges, threats loom for outspoken journalist in Pakistan

Forty-nine year-old magazine editor and publisher Shoaib Adil fled his home in the eastern city of Lahore last month and went into hiding with his wife and children. Adil faces threats and possible charges of blasphemy--a crime punishable by life imprisonment or death--in connection with a book he published in 2007, written by a judge belonging to a religious minority group in Pakistan, as well as with his magazine, which covers sensitive issues. For years, Adil has been able to navigate the challenges that come with his critical journalistic work. But now he faces the possibility of being unable to live or work safely in Pakistan.

Blog   |   Afghanistan, Pakistan

Seeking release of Pakistani journalist Faizullah Khan, jailed in Afghanistan

People buy garments ahead of the Eid al-Fitr holiday in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Thursday. (AP/Mohammad Sajjad)

It's not often that CPJ agrees with the Pakistan government, but here is one of the rare occasions when we do. While Pakistan journalists have been pushing for quite a while for the release of one of their colleagues, Faizullah Khan, being held in Nangahar in Afghanistan, the Islamabad government has apparently been working diplomatic back channels. But Thursday, Pervez Rashid, Pakistan's minister for information, went public. He urged Afghanistan's leader to issue a presidential pardon. "I appeal to Afghan President Hamid Karzai to use his powers," to pardon Khan, Rashid said in a press conference in capital Islamabad. He also said the government will pursue his release through legal channels.

Blog   |   Internet, Pakistan

A year after Snowden revelations, damage persists to freedom of expression in Pakistan

In Pakistan, where freedom of expression is largely perceived as a Western notion, the Snowden revelations have had a damaging effect. The deeply polarized narrative has become starker as the corridors of power push back on attempts to curb government surveillance. "If the citizens of the United States of America cannot have these rights, how can you? .." is an argument that rights advocate hear way too often. The Snowden revelations quickly became a moment of recognition for those otherwise labeled as conspiracy theorists who believed that all digital transmissions become a tool that can be used by the U.S. government. Unlike, for example, Brazil, which has fought back, the government of Pakistan is working on ways it could replicate a NSA-like model in this country.

Blog   |   Pakistan

When Pakistan's largest news channel becomes the news

Today, Pakistan's most watched news channel, Geo News, was ordered off the air and fined by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA). Earlier this week, CPJ documented an attack on Zafar Aheer, an editor of the Urdu-language Daily Jang, by six masked men--the latest in a series of attacks, threats, and acts of intimidation reported by staff working for the Jang/Geo group. 

Blog   |   Pakistan

Am I a traitor?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Hamid Mir, the executive editor of Pakistan's Geo Television, survived an April 19 assassination attempt, but was badly injured. The shooting came a few weeks after the Pakistani government pledged in a meeting with CPJ to address the insecurity plaguing the country's journalists. Shortly after the attack, some Pakistani media stated that CPJ had received an emailed video from Mir saying that if he were killed, Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) was responsible. Mir recently told CPJ that he had sent a video to his lawyer, who did not send it to CPJ. The ISI has denied the allegation it was behind the attack on Mir, according to news reports. This article was initially published in the daily Urdu-language Jang newspaper on May 5, 2014.


There are two types of traitors.

The first kind includes those who join hands with enemies and help enslave their own people. Among the most prominent of these is Jaffar Ali Khan, whose betrayal, as chief of army in 1757, eventually led to the British rule of the subcontinent. Over time, Jaffar's name has become synonymous with treachery.

Blog   |   Pakistan

A verbatim threat from Pakistan, and more

Here is a cut and paste email message sent to staffers at The News, in Islamabad. We have their explicit permission to use it. Actually, they requested that we use it, in the hope that publicizing it will somehow protect them.

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