UN agency condemns killing of journalist in Pakistan

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United Nations, Sep 1 (ANI): The U.N. agency that defends press freedom has condemned yet another murder of an Afghan journalist working in Pakistan's north-west for his criticism of the Taliban last week.

Janullah Hashimzada, the 37-year-old bureau chief of Shamshad TV channel, died after being shot multiple times in an ambush last Monday in the Khyber Pass region. His colleague, Ali Khan, was seriously wounded during the same attack.

Hashimzada, who also worked on a freelance basis for the news agencies AP and Pajhwok Afghan News, the newspapers Wahdat and Sahar, and the TV network Al-Arabia, is the second journalist to be killed in Pakistan this month.

Sadiq Bacha Khan, a correspondent of Aaj TV and former President of the Press Club of Mardan, was shot dead on his way to work on August14, The Nation reported.

The International Press Institute (IPI) said 11 journalists have been killed in Pakistan in the past two years, with six of the murders occurring in the strife-torn northwest.

Koochiro Matsuura, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), condemned the slaying of Hashimzada and noting that journalists pay "too heavy a price" for carrying out their work.

"This murder highlights the vulnerability of journalists working in conflict and post-conflict areas, where they fulfil a vital role in providing us with independent information," he said.

"Peace, democracy and the rule of law depend and require an open and informed debate, which is also essential for reconciliation and reconstruction." (ANI)

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