One of the demands of journalistic ethics from every journalist is to act as a whistle-blower. It is this ethical demand of whistleblowing and objective reporting that many want to suppress through any mean available. In Pakistan, where the environment for objective reporting and practising journalism is already hostile, a study by the Freedom Network reveals that in the past five years at least 26 journalists have been killed. According to the World Press Freedom Index prepared by Reporters without Borders the level of impunity that the killers of journalists enjoy makes Pakistan as one of the most dangerous places to practice journalism.

It is ironical that the constitution of the country considers freedom of expression as a fundamental right; the state is yet to take steps to bring the murderers to the account. The report highlighting that six cases concluded out of the 16 shows not only state’s indifference to the dangers that the journalist face while performing their journalistic duties, but it also manifests a failure of Pakistan’s legal system in convicting the killers.

The journalists in Pakistan face threats from all sides – state, non-state actors, and criminals all want to bar the journalists from uncovering their unlawful activities. According to the same organisation’s “Threat Data Analysis for August 2018”, at least thirteen cases of murder, attack, arrest, harassment, verbal threats, censorship, and attacks on journalists’ homes were documented across Pakistan.

The coercive and intimidating tactics employed against journalist are to curtail the fundamental right of freedom of expression for news media in Pakistan. The current state of affairs is contributing to making journalism a dangerous adventure. It is not wrong to say that journalism has never been more dangerous as it is nowadays. Being a democratic country, the federal and the provincial governments need to chalk out a comprehensive policy that can ensure the safety of journalists from all visible and invisible threats.