Islamabad: A journalist`s life is often a perilous one in Pakistan, a country deemed one of the world`s most dangerous for journalists, especially since militant groups began to proliferate here, said a leading daily on Saturday.
An editorial "Violence against journalists", which appeared in the Dawn, said that a "journalist`s life in Pakistan is often a perilous one, and never more so than when those in the profession work in small towns or remote areas".
On Wednesday, a large number of mediapersons held a six-hour sit-in on the Indus Highway to protest against an attack on four journalists in Dadu district and the police`s inaction in apprehending the culprits.
The daily said that district correspondents have to contend with "multidimensional problems in places where the feudal set-up, often reinforced by powerful political connections and a pliant, corrupt police, is unwilling to countenance any challenge to its clout and authority".
"Moreover, unless they work for one of the larger media groups, outstation reporters are often poorly paid and sometimes not paid at all - which leads to problems of ethics - and are thus easily disowned by their parent organisations when they run afoul of local pressure groups," it added.
The editorial said that in a country deemed one of the world`s most dangerous for journalists, especially since militant groups began to proliferate here, Balochistan presents the most high-risk scenario of all.
"More than 30 journalists have been killed over the last five years in the province, where all manner of threats menace them: feuding tribals, religious extremists, insurgent groups and security forces, all of whom try to use the media to further their own agendas and sometimes, silence its practitioners."
It added that in all these years, the murder of only one Pakistani journalist - Wali Khan Babar - has been successfully prosecuted.
"Only a media that stops pandering to various interest groups and transcends its internal divisions can effectively counter this outrageous impunity," the editorial said.