Gilgit-Baltistan: The Right to Information, Law, Safety and Security of Journalists

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GILGIT (ET): Journalists in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) marked World Press Freedom Day amid hopes of legislation upholding their rights and ensuring security. The workshop was organised by an NGO, IRADA, as part of a Unesco project, and was facilitated by an Islamabad-based journalist, Aoun Sahi.
“There are some subjects on which the G-B Council has powers to legislate. But I assure you if it falls in the G-B Assembly’s domain we will certainly table a bill on it soon,” Sadia Danish Said.
Though attacks on journalists in the line of duty are rare in G-B, the region’s sectarian conflict has exposed several journalists to threats of various nature.
“In the backdrop of increasing threats to media personnel across the country, G-B has also become a dangerous place for reporting, especially in the wake of rising extremism in the region,” said Gilgit Press Club President Khursheed Ahmed. He added that it is thus important that the government enact laws guaranteeing access to information and security for journalists.
In the workshop, journalists discussed problems being faced by them while discharging their duties. Referring to laws adopted by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, Sahi suggested the replication of such legislation in G-B, asking lawmakers to initiate the process as early as possible.

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