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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Pakistan improves ranking on Press Freedom Index

While the improvement in the ranking is a welcoming development for Pakistan, nevertheless, the RSF also gave an overview of Pakistan's press freedom violations in its country profile. 

In a major development, Pakistan has improved its ranking on the annual World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

According to the details, Pakistan moved up seven places in 2022. Pakistan now ranks 150 out of 180 countries, whereas it stood at 157 in the previous year’s index.

While the improvement in the ranking is a welcoming development for Pakistan, nevertheless, the RSF did not leave out any details while giving a brief overview of Pakistan’s press freedom violations in its country profile.

Read more: Challenging misrepresentation of Pakistan in global media narratives

The RSF stated that Pakistan is one of the deadliest countries for journalists, with three to four murders each year that are often linked to cases of corruption or illegal trafficking and which go completely unpunished.

“Any journalist who crosses the red lines dictated by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) – an intelligence agency offshoot – is liable to be the target of in-depth surveillance that could lead to abduction and detention for varying lengths of time in the state’s prisons or less official jails,” the RSF report said.

The findings were backed by the Pakistan Press Freedom Report prepared by the Freedom Network released on Monday, which said at least 140 cases of threats and attacks against journalists, media professionals, and media organizations were reported in Pakistan over the past year, indicating an annual increase of over 60 percent.

Reporters Without Borders is an international non-profit and non-governmental organization with the stated aim of safeguarding the right to freedom of information. The organization compiles research and embarks on fact-finding missions to document violations of press freedom.

After obtaining evidence of a transgression, RSF pressures governments through publicity campaigns and protest letters. RSF publishes several yearly reports that include rankings of countries around the world by their degree of press freedom.

Read more: Media suppression: Another era of terror launched in Pakistan

Pertinent to mention that the RSF index was published today to coincide with World Press Freedom Day. As the international community observes World Press Freedom Day on Wednesday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif paid tribute to journalists across the world, particularly those in Pakistan, for their commendable work to inform and educate the people.