...Gul also paid tributes to the 22 journalists, who had lost their lives in the province over the past four years.
Quetta Press Club General Secretary and reporter of a leading Urdu daily, Abdul Khaliq Rind; said, “You cannot look at media’s work in isolation. You cannot write about any group. It is very difficult for us all.” Rind further said that decades of discrimination was the prime reason for intellectual and economic backwardness in Balochistan.
Khalil Ahmed, a reporter of a private TV channel, said, “We have not been given access to information, even we cannot report corruption cases.” He said that due to the geographical importance of Balochistan, the US, China, Iran and Afghanistan played a significant role in the region to protect their interests.
Irfan Rana, a reporter from a private TV channel, talked about the hazards of reporting in Balochistan. He said, “We follow blasts and are usually exposed to terrorist attacks.” Rana added that whenever journalists in Balochistan reported something, pressure groups asked them to amend it and warned of dire consequences if their “orders” are not obeyed.
Irshad Mastoi, the bureau chief of an online news agency, said, “All resistance movements approach us for coverage and political parties and some institutions also behave with us like resistant groups,” adding that political leaders force journalists to cover their specific “press release”. He observed that society was extremely militarised in Balochistan.
Shahid Rind, the bureau chief of a private TV channel, said that the media faced pressures from powerful institutions, political leaders, militants and criminals. He said, “We get dictation from all stakeholders, so we cannot follow journalistic norms, as we face threats. There are red lines and we cannot dare be objective in reporting.”
He said that dictation, censure, fear, intimidation and blackmailing by pressure groups defined journalists’ formal reporting....