ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly sub-committee of the Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting and National Heritage has recommended the government arrest the nominated accused of journalists’ killing across the country.
The committee expressed serious reservations over non-arrest of the killers of journalists, which creates further uncertainty among the journalists’ community. Police officials from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan informed the committee that majority of the journalists were killed in trouble areas or in terrorism related incidents. In such cases no one directly nominated that was why in majority of these cases no arrest were made so far. However, the committee directed that those people should be arrested soon who directly involved in killing of journalists.
The sub-committee meeting held in parliament house and was chaired by Convener Ms Naeema Kishwer Khan. Secretary Information Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said the KP Assembly has passed a bill “Journalist Endowment Fund”. If a journalist martyred in terrorism related incidents, his/her family will be paid Rs1 million by KP government and Rs0.2 million for wounded or other mis-happening to any journalist. Apart from it, the KP government also planning to establish journalist colonies at Nowshera, Mansehra and other cities of the province, he maintained.
DIG KP Mohammad Ali Babakhel briefed the committee over journalists killing during last three years in five troubled districts of the province. According to him majority of journalists were killed in terrorist incidents in Peshawar, Charsadah, Karak, Abbotabad and recently in Mansehra districts. In Abbotabad and Mansehrea journalist’s cases, the accused were arrested. In some cases, media persons reach earlier than police on spot of the incident, he added. The provincial government made compensation to the deceased families. However, he said as media house are run on profit bases, therefore, they should also give some compensation to the journalist’s families.
DIG Headquarter Balochistan Khalid Mehmood told the committee that during last three years 14 journalist killing cases occurred in Balochistan, in which 3 journalist families were not paid due to different reasons. One family not contacted for compensation and they think that government agencies involved in the killing of their person. The compensations also vary from case to case, they are paying Rs1 million, Rs2 million and also Rs0.5 million.
IG Islamabad Police Sikandar Hayat told the committee that during last three years not a single case of journalist killing happened and it may be due to better security arrangement. Convener of the committee Naeema Kishwer Khan directed the ministry of information and broadcasting to strictly instructed owners of media house to properly equip journalists while sending them in trouble areas for reporting. She also asked that one time compensation should be made to government-journalists.