HRCP wants journalist’s killers brought to justice

Lahore, January 14: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed sorrow and alarm at the murder of TV journalist Wali Khan Babar in Karachi and demanded a full investigation to bring the killers to justice. A statement issued by the Commission on Friday said: “HRCP is grieved and alarmed at the murder of yet another journalist in Pakistan.

We express our condolence to the family and colleagues of Wali Khan Babar, who was shot and killed in Karachi in what could only be described as premeditated murder. That Babar was the second Pakistan journalist killed in 2011 underlines the great challenges and perils Pakistani journalists continue to face on a daily basis. Pakistan was declared the world’s deadliest country for journalists in 2010 by international media advocacy group Committee to Protect Journalists.

All indicators suggest the dismal trend will continue. While the motives for Babar’s murder are yet to be established, any hope of finding and bringing to justice his killers depends entirely on the importance the government attaches to investigating the murder fully. Otherwise, the long record of impunity for those killing and assaulting journalists in Pakistan seems set to continue. At least seven other citizens also lost their lives in the latest spree of violence in Karachi on Thursday. More killings were reported in the city on Friday. This recurring pattern of death is a stark negation of the most basic of rights that the state is under an obligation to protect. The state needs to take a long, hard look at its shortcomings in crucial areas even in the country’s main cities, particularly in Karachi, and share with the people its plan to improve the situation.

The task of the law enforcement agencies must be more than merely delivering dead bodies and injured to hospitals and claiming to be on high security alerts after the fact.”

Dr Mehdi Hasan


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