Pakistan is not an easy country for journalists. State agencies, non-state actors and political and criminal mafia repeatedly target them with impunity. For the past decade, Pakistan has been governed by semi-democratic regimes and the media have expanded but journalists continue to be intimidated and targeted.
The latest is Rana Tanveer, a seasoned reporter affiliated with the newspaper Express Tribune. He has been reporting, among other topics, on religious minorities and extremist groups that threaten, attack and sometimes kill Muslims and non-Muslims. His coverage of the Ahmadis - a minority sect outlawed by Pakistan’s Parliament - has not been received well by extremists who think Ahmadis are fit for murder.
For his fearless work, Tanveer is under attack. Today, I tweeted about the threats to Tanveer’s life. I hope the government takes adequate action and protects his freedom to report and more importantly his life.
The government of Pakistan, media watchdogs and press associations need to make this into a test case. We need to save Tanveer and his right to report but also ensure that those who hurl threats are taken to task.
Enough is enough.