Jan’s family have accused the regional food and welfare minister, Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran, of ordering the shooting
after Jan reported on alleged graft linked to the powerful local leader. Jan’s brother Ghulam Sarwar said the reporter was threatened before his death by Khetran.
Khetran denied any connection to the killing. “It is being said that I tried to hinder his journalistic work which is not true at all. I deny all and any allegations that have been made,” he said.
The family have filed a complaint accusing Khetran’s bodyguards of carrying out the attack, but say authorities have done little.
Police are still investigating the case, but have carried out some raids, according to Gul Mohammed, deputy commissioner for Barkhan.
Pakistan is one of the worst countries in the world for journalists, ranking 145th out of 180 countries and territories in RSF’s 2020 world press freedom index. According to the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), at least seven journalists were reported killed in Pakistan last year.
is particularly dangerous, with foreign journalists harassed and barred from working, and local reporters often facing violence.
“Journalism in Pakistan has seriously declined, with free speech being curtailed and many media networks compromising with some institutions,” said Shahzada Zulfiqar, the president of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ).
“What remains is a small group of local journalists in some peripheries across the country that do not shy away from challenging
the status quo regardless of the cost– being murdered and abducted. The same happened with Anwar Jan.”
was killed only a few days after the abduction of a contemporary, Matiullah Jan, in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. Although he was freed after 12 hours, his abduction was another reminder of the deteriorating situation faced by journalists in Pakistan.
06 Aug 20/Thursday