PESHAWAR: Pakistan Journalists Safety Coalition has sought help of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani to make necessary legislation to ensure protection of journalists in the province.

A statement issued here on Monday said that a delegation of PJSC headed by executive director of Freedom Network Iqbal Khattak, senior lawyer Noor Alam Khan and president of Khyber Union of Journalists Fida Khattak called on Speaker Mushtaq Ghani at his chamber and briefed him about the difficulties faced by working journalists in the country, particularly in militancy-affected KP.

The lawyers and journalists have set up PJSC to raise voice for the rights of media persons and provide legal assistance to them.

The speaker was informed that 11 journalists in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, nine in Punjab, seven in Sindh and five in Balochistan were killed during the last six years. Unfortunately not a single culprit or target killer was arrested or brought to justice so far, the statement said.

The delegation said that inquiries ordered in targeted killing of journalists were put in cold storage. The speaker was asked to play his role and make necessary legislation in that regard.

Mr Ghani said that he would play his constitutional role to make laws for the protection of journalists in the province. He ordered convening a consultative meeting of the officials of law and information departments in which journalists and lawyers would brief the lawmakers for preparing legal framework.

He said that journalists played important role in reformation of society and government would take all measures to ensure their safety. He said that provincial assembly would make legislation as soon as possible to provide conducive environment to working journalists.

The speaker assured the delegation that bill regarding protection of journalists would be introduced in the assembly after completion of necessary groundwork and consultation with stakeholders. He said that the issue would also be discussed on the floor of the house. The delegation presented annual Impunity Report 2019 to the speaker.

Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2019

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