In what could be the reflection of the detoriation condition in Pakistan today, a GEO TV journalist Musa Khan was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in the Swat Valley. The 28-year old TV journalist had gone to the Matta area of Swat to cover talks expected to be held between Taliban leader and hardliner cleric Maulana Sufi Mohammad, whose organisation has reached an agreement with the North West Frontier Province government on enforcing Sharia law in Swat and in parts of the province. No organisation has claimed responsibility for the killing.
The President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, has sent out condolences and announced ex-gratia for the reporter. The Swat Valley was recently in news as it is the base of the Taliban. The event can be seen as setting an example of trying to stop or instil fear on the Fourth Estate. Such blatant killing cannot be tolerated and his fellow journalists in Pakistan are up in arms, demanding answers from the Pakistani Government.
The problems in the Swat area has been detoriating with the Taliban now having nearly full control of the area with the Pakistani Government just watching as a mute spectator. Today’s killing, though, might wake up the government from its sleep and things should really be brought under control in the Valley. The attack on the press, though not the first of its kind in Pakistan, has outraged all the journalists and are determined to see some action against the killers. Taliban, however, is trying to prove a point and sending out clear message to the media that they should stay well within their limits.