UNITED NATIONS - The head of the UN agency tasked with defending press freedom Friday called on Pakistani authorities to investigate the killing of two journalists and bring the perpetrators to justice.

“I condemn the murder of Adbul Khaliq and Mushtaq Khand,” said the Director-General of the Paris-based UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Irina Bokova.

“I am deeply concerned about attacks on journalists and media workers in Pakistan and call on the authorities to bring those responsible for these crimes to justice.”

On 29 September, Abdul Khaliq, also known as Abdul Haq Baluch, was shot by unidentified gunmen in Khuzdar, according to UNESCO.

A reporter for the privately-owned Dharti TV, Mushtaq Khand, was killed when gunmen opened fire on a public meeting in Khairpur on 7 October. Several other people were killed and injured in the attack, UNESCO added in a news release.

“I wish a full and speedy recovery to those injured in the attack that cost Mr Khand his life,” said Ms Bokova, noting that it is essential that the basic human right of freedom of expression be respected, and that journalists are allowed to carry out their work without having to fear for their lives.

According to UNESCO, eight journalists have been killed in Pakistan this year.