Days after the UNESCO ranked Pakistan as the second most dangerous country for journalists across the globe, a bullet-riddled body of a reporter was found dumped in a deserted area near Turbat, in Quetta.
Razzaq Gul had been working with the Express Group of Publications for the last ten years. According to relatives, the deceased had been kidnapped on Friday from near his house.
Law enforcement agencies shifted the body to a state-run hospital for an autopsy, where his brother identified him.
According to the hospital administration, Gul was shot in the head and chest and his body bore marks of torture. He had received 15 bullets in his chest and head, and had died at the spot.
Close friends and family members said the victim had not mentioned that he was receiving death threats and hadn’t indicated that his life was in danger.
Due to security reasons many journalists denied commenting on the killing, saying he was kidnapped and later his body was recovered from the surrounding area.
As usual, acting Inspector General (IG) Police Balochistan Hussain Karar Khwaja has directed an inquiry into the incident.
Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ) and Council of All Balochistan Press Club strongly condemned the killing. BUJ also announced three day mourning.
Its statement reads, “As many as 17 journalists have been killed during that past three years and not a single murder was properly investigated. This is meant to terrify journalists in Balochistan”.
In the meantime, Council of All Balochistan Press Club announced that it will launch a protest demonstration by June 1 if assailants behind the killing are not arrested straight away.
A UNESCO report titled “Safety and the danger of impunity” released earlier this month saying there had been a dramatic increase in the number of media personnel killed in the country.
From two and six killings registered in its two previous reports, respectively, the number of killings had increased to 16 during 2010-11, it added.
A recent report of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) disclosed that the prevalence of conflict and financial hardship across Pakistan has a direct impact on risks faced by journalists and that individuals were more prepared to take on dangerous jobs for which they might be paid.