ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) on the occasion of International Day to End Impunity has demanded protection for families of slain journalists, who are under threat after their refusal to withdraw cases of their loved ones, and asked for special public prosecutors to deal with the cases of 100 journalists killed since 9/11.
President and Secretary General of PFUJ, Afzal Butt and Khursheed Abbasi, respectively in a joint statement condemned the attack on yet another prosecutor dealing with the murder of journalist Wali Khan Babar, just a day before the world observed International Day of Impunity. The attack once again led to adjourned hearing despite proceedings have been shifted from Karachi (where he was killed in 2011) to Kandkot, interior Sindh, due to security reasons. "As we observe Day to End Impunity, those behind the killing of Babar used terror to stop the proceedings in the case," the statement said. There are already five people linked with this investigation killed and Babar's brother and other family members are facing threats, it said. PFUJ leaders said Pakistan presents a bleak picture when it comes to end impunity, where slain journalists' families are facing death threats when they tried to proceed with cases of their loved one. It happened in the case of at least three journalists including Hayatullah Khan, Munir Sangi and Wali Khan Babar, it said, adding that Khan's widow was killed, Sangi's widow left her hometown while Babar's brother and other member of family also received threat to withdraw the case. Similarly, the case of US reporter Danial Pearl has been awaiting verdict for the last 11 years. He was kidnapped and killed in January 2002. Four suspects arrested in the case were sentenced by Anti-Terrorism court in June 2002. However, the cases of dozens of journalists killed in FATA, KPK and in Balochistan were almost closed by the police, declaring them as 'blind cases.'
The PFUJ demands that all these cases should be reopened, investigated and proceeded in the court of law, the statement said. It is the responsibility of the media houses to raise the issues of their respective journalists, killed in the line of duty, it added. The PFUJ appealed to the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Information Minister Pervez Rasheed to take the initiative in appointing special public prosecutors at the federal level and in the provinces, for the early disposal of cases of martyred journalists.