The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) in calling for the Pakistani and Afghani government to do everything in their power to ensure the safe return of a Pakistani TV journalist missing in Afghanistan since three weeks.
Faizullah Khan, a reporter for ARY News TV based in Karachi, went missing in Afghanistan where he is believed to have gone for interviewing Taliban leaders. According to reports, he is suspected of being detained by a state security agency in Afghanistan.
Khan normally covered courts, but had an instinct of working in the conflict areas. He informed his supervisors a few weeks back that he would go to Peshawar and in tribal areas for some high profile interviews. Khan, a Pastho-speaking journalist originally from Mansehra, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region, was transferred to Islamabad from Karachi for being in the hit-list of terrorist after murder of journalist Wali Khan Babar in January, 2011.
“The PFUJ condemns the incident and asks the Pakistan government to use diplomatic channels with Afghanistan to make an effort to recover the journalist as soon as possible,” the PFUJ said in a statement.
The IFJ urges the Afghanistan and Pakistan government to act urgently for safe return of the journalist; and to respect the rights of the journalists in gathering information
Both Pakistan and Afghanistan are dangerous regions for journalists to operate with poor safety and security situations and impunity in attacks on journalists. The case of Faizullah Khan highlights the problems that the journalists face in the region. The IFJ also urges the journalists operating in the region to remain extra vigilant about the possible dangers especially when traveling to far-flung areas.