US alarmed over increased attacks on journalists in Pakistan

Last week, senior journalist Raza Rumi was attacked in which his driver was killed
Islamabad: The US today expressed concern overthe level of press freedom in Pakistan and the threats that journalists here face every day.
US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson met with a group of nine American journalists from the East-West Center's Journalists Exchange programme and discussed issues of press freedom and dangers to journalists in Pakistan.
"We are alarmed and deplore the increased attacks on journalists in Pakistan. The most recent attack against one of Pakistan's most well regarded journalists, who has been a staunch defender of fundamental democratic freedoms including freedom of the press here, should be a wake-up call to all who value democracy in this country," Olson said.
He was referring to the recent attack on Raza Rumi in which his driver was killed and guard injured.
The American envoy said a free media is a key ingredient of democracy, and allows for a healthy national discussion on shaping a peaceful future for the country.
"Everyone must do more to defend these courageous voices against those who seek to silence them," he said.
Pakistan has often being regard as a dangerous place for journalists. Even foreign journalists, despite government assurances, face a host of problems from visa issues to as simple as getting a press identification card.
The security of media personnel was also raised by the Committee to Protect Journalists, a media advocacy group, during a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif last month.
The Prime Minister pledged to continue to expand Pakistan's media freedoms and address the insecurity plaguing the country's journalists.
He also promised to ease visa and travel restrictions on foreign journalists working in the county, a statement by the group had said.
( Source : PTI )
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