The body of the Islamabad bureau chief of Pakistan Press International (PPI), Mohammad Ismail Malik, was found near his office in the capital on 1st November while a second journalist was seriously wounded in a shooting in the north-west of the country.
Rehmanullah, correspondent for the daily Urdu-language Subah, published in Peshawar, was shot in Shabqadar as he was returning home.
"Even though there is nothing to immediately show that these two attacks were linked to the journalists’ work, we nevertheless urge the government to ensure that there is a prompt investigation to shed light on both cases,” said Reporters Without Borders.
"The promise made by the federal information minister, Muhammad Ali Durrani, to find those responsible and bring them to justice must be put into practice,” the organisation added.
At least two Pakistani journalists, Munir Sangi, cameraman for the Kawish Television Network, and Hayatullah Khan, of the Urdu-language weekly Ausaf and the European Press Photo Agency, have been killed while doing their job in 2006.
The body of Mohammad Ismail Maliq, 52, was found close to his office in the capital behind a petrol station. His head had been mutilated with a blunt instrument. The post mortem examination showed that he was attacked by two or three assailants and that some blows were struck after his death. His mobile phone was missing but his money and cheque book were recovered.
Some sources suggested that the killing could have been an act of personal vengeance linked to his private life and Mazhar Abbas, secretary general of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, said that the murder might not be linked to his job.
Maliq began his career at the PPI, then joined the daily The Frontier Post. He also worked for the news agency Online and the newspaper The Muslim.
Rehmanullah, who was also deputy chairman of the Shabqadar press club, was urgently admitted to hospital in Peshawar after being injured by bullet wounds in the hip. His colleagues said that he had been threatened in the past, particularly by Islamist militants. Journalists held a demonstration in Shabqadar to call on the government to afford greater protection to journalists.