Pakistan Pakistan was listed as the deadliest country for journalists in 2010 by the CPJ Credit: openDemocracy
News outlets in Pakistan need to take urgent measures to ensure safe reporting, international press freedom groups said this week, after another journalist was reportedly killed.

A report by the Committee to Protect Journalists originally claimed that two journalists were killed in a double bombing in Peshawar on Saturday.

They were named in reports as Asfandyar Khan, who had recently joined Akhbar-e-Khyber and Shafiullah Khan, a new reporter-in-training at The News International. The CPJ later reported that Khan had not been killed, but was in a critical condition.

Five other journalists were reportedly injured, among more than 100 people in total. A total of 36 people were said to have been killed in the bombing.

The CPJ called on Pakistan's press to review their security and journalist safety training "to address the mounting number of deaths of journalists in the field".

"There was a first small blast at the Khyber Super Market [which] drew a crowd, including journalists covering the story," the CPJ reports.

"The second larger blast, apparently a suicide bomb, went off after the crowd had grown. This follows closely on the heels of the May 10 bombing death of journalist Nasrullah Afridi, who died when his car blew up in an explosion at the same market."

This follows the news that the body of journalist Syed Saleen Shahzad was found last month, a few days after he had gone missing.

"Pakistan was the deadliest country for journalists last year and now and it looks like it may be again this year, with at least five killed so far," Bob Dietz, CPJ's Asia program coordinator added.

"The government is unable to protect journalists from attacks. Therefore, media owners, managers, and journalists in the field must quickly unite and together work hard on establishing and ensuring their security."

The International Federation of Journalists also called on media outlets to ensure staff are "fully informed about the frequent recourse to the double-blast strategy".

"This awareness should be part of urgent education and precautions for safe reporting," IFJ Asia-Pacific director Jacqueline Park said in a report.

The IFJ claims a deadline of 10 June for establishing a judicial commission to investigate Shahzad's death, as set by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), has not been met by the Pakistan government.

"While the Government had earlier indicated it would set up the commission, the June 10 deadline passed without action," the IFJ reported.

The PFUJ has now called on journalists from across Pakistan to come together in Islamabad tomorrow to hold a 24-hour sit-in outside the parliament and demand a commission be set up "immediately", the IFJ added.

Update: This article was updated to reflect a correction by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Image by openDemocracy on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

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