ISLAMABAD- Pakistani authorities should investigate the country's powerful spy agency for human rights abuses against journalists following a spate of attacks on leading reporters, London-based Amnesty International said in a report published today.
The report sheds light on the threat it says the country's media faces, including from political parties, Islamist insurgents and its own intelligence agencies.
At least 34 journalists have been killed as a direct consequence of their work since 2008 and eight have been killed in the past 11 months since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was elected to power in May 2013, Amnesty said.
"A critical step will be for Pakistan to investigate its own military and intelligence agencies and ensure that those responsible for human rights violations against journalists are brought to justice," said David Griffiths, Amnesty's Deputy Asia Pacific Director.
The Amnesty report came after a top political talk show host was shot and wounded in the city of Karachi earlier this month. Amnesty's report is based on research into over 70 cases where journalists have been targeted for their reporting.
Amnesty said the pressure on journalists came from a range of organizations including the ISI and other intelligence agencies, as well as the Karachi-based Muttahida Qaumi Movement political party, the Pakistani Taliban and the sectarian militant outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.