The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today condemned the recent killing of a television journalist in Pakistan`s North West Frontier Province (NWFP), and urged authorities to ensure the safety of media professionals in the South Asian nation.
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 14 August.
This crime is a blow to freedom of expression and freedom of the press, " said KoÃ¯chiro Matsuura, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
I urge the authorities to do everything in their power to put a stop to the killing of journalists, which has become particularly alarming in North West Frontier Province, " he added.
Mr. Matsuura also paid tribute to Mr. Khan`s courage and commitment " both to his profession and to helping the inhabitants of NWFP, which has been the scene of a major displacement crisis prompted by the Government`s military offensive against militants in the region.
According to the International Press Institute, 11 journalists have been killed in Pakistan over the last two years, six of them in NWFP.