Extremist groups and intelligence agencies
The Pakistani media are regarded as among the most vibrant in Asia but they are targeted by extremist groups, Islamist organizations and the feared intelligence agencies, all of which are on RSF’s list of predators of press freedom. The various warring parties are always ready to denounce acts of “sacrilege” by the media. The central and regional governments and members of political and religious organizations are also quick to harass, threaten, or physically attack journalists regarded as insufficiently sympathetic to their views. Deadly attacks against journalists continue to take place every year, even if the number has tended to fall in the past five years. In October 2017, armed groups in the southwestern province of Baluchistan issued an ultimatum to journalists, threatening them with violence if they continued to refuse to cover the actions and statements of these groups—coverage that the journalists have not been providing under orders from the security forces. A month later, reporters were again caught in the crossfire when they tried to cover protests by religious activists that brought Islamabad to a standstill. The natural consequence has been an increase in newsroom self-censorship.
139 in 2017
43.55 in 2017