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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Journalists Abduction Case, SC Comes into Action

The abduction of journalists and attacks on press freedom prompt Supreme Court intervention, highlighting concerns over law enforcement accountability and media safety in Pakistan.

Muhammad Nadeem, a reporter for Daily Jang, fell victim to this alarming trend when he was abducted by individuals claiming to be Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) personnel. The incident occurred as Nadeem was commuting to his office, highlighting the risks faced by journalists in the city.

Accompanying another citizen, Nadeem was forcefully taken from a minibus near Cantt Mor in the Frere police station precincts. The perpetrators, masquerading as CTD officials, transported them to the CTD civil lines. While Nadeem was eventually released upon the discovery of his press credentials, the fate of the other abducted individual remains unknown, raising concerns about the safety of journalists in Karachi.

Amidst condemnation from journalistic organizations and calls for action from authorities, the Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) and Karachi Union of Journalists (Dastur) have demanded swift and decisive measures to address this disturbing development. Their joint statements underscore the urgent need for accountability and protection for journalists operating in Karachi, emphasizing the role of law enforcement in ensuring the safety and freedom of the press.

Supreme Court Takes Action on Attacks and Abductions

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has intervened in response to the escalating threats against journalists, particularly instances of abduction and harassment. Expressing dissatisfaction with law enforcement agencies’ handling of these cases, the court demanded a fresh report on attacks on journalists and abductions, emphasizing the gravity of the situation.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa expressed grave concerns over the failures of the Islamabad Police to address the abduction of journalist Matiullah Jan and attacks on journalists Absar Alam and Asad Toor. The court’s scrutiny extended to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and its actions against journalists accused of anti-judiciary campaigns, highlighting the need for transparency and accountability in law enforcement efforts.

During the proceedings, Justice Isa criticized the misuse of authority and the politicization of investigations, calling for swift and impartial action against perpetrators. The court’s firm stance reflects a commitment to upholding press freedom and ensuring justice for journalists targeted for their work.

Challenges and Accountability in Law Enforcement

As the judiciary scrutinizes law enforcement agencies’ responses to attacks and abductions targeting journalists, questions arise about the efficacy and integrity of investigations. The court’s rebuke of the Islamabad Police and FIA underscores the need for robust accountability mechanisms and adherence to due process in addressing threats to press freedom.

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Despite assurances from authorities, concerns persist about the safety of journalists and the independence of media in Pakistan. The ongoing legal proceedings and calls for accountability signal a critical juncture in safeguarding press freedom and upholding the principles of democracy and transparency in the country.

As the judiciary scrutinizes law enforcement agencies’ responses to attacks and abductions targeting journalists, questions arise about the efficacy and integrity of investigations. The court’s rebuke of the Islamabad Police and FIA underscores the need for robust accountability mechanisms and adherence to due process in addressing threats to press freedom.

Despite assurances from authorities, concerns persist about the safety of journalists and the independence of media in Pakistan. The ongoing legal proceedings and calls for accountability signal a critical juncture in safeguarding press freedom and upholding the principles of democracy and transparency in the country.