LAHORE - The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has condemned the killing of a journalist in Haripur and death threats and an apparent attack on another in Lahore.

In a statement issued on Monday, the Commission stated: “We have received with great concern reports of targeted killing of Bakhshish Elahi, bureau chief of an Urdu newspaper, and a rashly driven car apparently trying to run over Rana Tanveer, chief reporter of an English newspaper in Lahore, when he was returning from a meeting of the Punjab Union of Journalists in Lahore on Friday afternoon. Tanveer is hospitalised with his leg fractured in two places. The circumstances suggest that this was not a random incident of rash driving.

“While the authorities in Haripur have failed to protect Bakhshish Elahi from the murderous attack, the plight of Tanveer is equally disturbing.

“It is a well-known fact that working journalists in Pakistan are a beleaguered community threatened from all sides. Pakistan has been one of the most dangerous countries for media practitioners for years. It has also consistently ranked among 10 nations with the highest levels of impunity for perpetrators of crimes against journalists. We believe that the culture of impunity makes the work-related threats facing journalists more grave.

“HRCP urges the authorities to take all possible measure to apprehend the perpetrators in both cases. A failure to do that will not only embolden the perpetrators but also force journalists, whose services society needs more now than ever, to exercise self-censorship in the hope of avoiding upsetting bigots and work-related violence.