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Reporters Sans Frontières last week released the World Press Freedom Index for the year 2018 where Pakistan slipped 3 paces further, securing 139th position. Among other reasons, the body also cited the growing hatred and disdain for journalists behind the new wave of violence against them. Media channels were repeatedly taken down in Pakistan during the last 12 months, Jang and Dawn newspapers were stopped from being delivered to the subscribers, media personnel were under threat from state and non-state actors while threats and attempts at silencing the critics of the new political regime continued throughout the year. Only last month, Channel 24 and all the sister channels were stopped from being aired in most parts of Lahore after seasoned journalist Najam Sethi reported that the civil-military ties were deteriorating. At least two journalists were killed by drug traffickers earlier this year. These are clear indicators that the powerful quarters are resorting to violence against the media in a country where journalists have little to no security or legal protection.

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Naya Daur