Armed men kill Pakistani journalist in Khuzdar

New York, October 1, 2012–Unidentified assailants shot to death a prominent journalist on Saturday in the city of Khuzdar in Baluchistan province, according to news reports. Abdul Haq Baloch was the secretary-general of the Khuzdar Press Club and a longtime correspondent of ARY Television, news reports said.

Haq was killed as he was leaving the press club to go home, news reports said. He had not received any threats, news reports cited ARY as saying. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

A number of journalists have died in strife-torn Baluchistan this year. Secessionist groups, religious militants including the Taliban and remnants of Al-Qaeda, and a heavy-handed government response have combined to make the province the most dangerous in Pakistan.

“We condemn the murder of Abdul Baloch Haq and send our condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “Authorities must investigate this murder, and journalists in Baluchistan must band together to confront the growing onslaught on their lives.”

The Baluchistan Union of Journalists released a statement condemning Haq’s death and demanding the formation of a high-level committee to investigate the brutal murder and provide security for journalists.

Pakistan ranked 10th on CPJ’s Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where journalists are murdered regularly and their killers go free. With the exception of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl’s death in 2002, no one has been prosecuted in Pakistan for the death of a journalist.

At least three other journalists have been killed in Pakistan this year, two of whom occurred in Baluchistan, according to CPJ research. Pakistan remains among the deadliest countries in the world for the press, with only Syria and Somalia having more journalist murders in 2012, according to CPJ research.

  • For more data and analysis on Pakistan, visit CPJ’s Pakistan page here.