Muhammad Ejaz Khan
By Global Journalist Staff Posted Apr 21 2011
Muhammad Ejaz Khan is the Bureau Chief of Geo TV for Balochistan (based in Quetta) as well as the Senior Correspondent of The News International—a sister publication of the same group—for the region since 1995.
Khan has traveled extensively throughout Balochistan and has a strong geo-strategic sense of the province. As the bureau chief, he leads a team of more than 18 assignment editors, reporters, cameramen, satellite engineers and other staff members always prepared to deliver in the most challenging situations. Independent and unbiased reporting is not an easy task in Balochistan, as the province is rife with various groups and gangs, which do not hesitate to resort to target killings to gain influence. He has written hundreds of articles on various topics related to Balochistan, covering politics, natural calamities, and problems confronted by the people especially after 9/11.
He began his career in journalism after a brief stint as a teacher at the Helper’s Public School and College, soon after completing his master’s degree in English literature from the Balochistan University, Quetta, in 1993. He started working at a local English newspaper, The Balochistan Times, as a reporter, and moved to the South Asian Media Watch (SAMW) as its senior correspondent in Balochistan.
He is a recipient of the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz—a prestigious civil award of the country—from the president of Pakistan for his services in the field of journalism. He covered the US-led war on terror in neighboring Afghanistan from the Pak-Afghan border as well as the conflict in Iran. He lost his right eye while reporting a terrorist activity (bomb blast) from the scene in Quetta for Geo TV.
“My name is Muhammad Ejaz Khan, I belong to Balochistan [the largest province in Pakistan] and I have been working with The News International, an English newspaper. Besides that, I have been working with the Urdu TV channel Geo Television as a bureau chief.
Well, after completing my education I decided to write something. I have a keen interest of writing. I’ve been living in a province where terrorism and extremism are on its peak. It was considered to be home of jihadis, Balochistan, to take part in the jihad against Russia [during the Cold War]. At least seven journalists, out of 15 journalists who have been killed in Pakistan in 2010, seven belongs to Balochistan.
And I am also one of the victims of the bomb blasts in 2006. Every year we see people, particularly journalists, at least two or three journalists were killed and more than 10 or 20 sustained injuries in bomb explosions or firing incidents. So there are a lot of, there is too much, risk in journalism and it is becoming increasing day by day. And despite the situation people are still interested to contribute in journalism. They like this, they are adventurous, in fact.
My wife is a professor in a local college. So from the day first I told her this is the requirement of my job. So she knows the nitty-gritties of my job.
Most important issue for a journalist? It depends on your beat or your interest. I like covering of terrorist incidents. There are environmental issues; there are bombing incidents. There are water ground issue, there are exodus movement of people and trespassing of people across the border in the province from where I belong. It is close to two borders, Iran and Afghanistan. There are exodus movement of people from Iran to European states via Balochistan.
I have written many articles on water issue, depleting underground water level in Balochistan, besides movement of people who trespass via Iran to other European countries. Besides terrorism, there are trade and business issues, there are sports beats and there are lot of many beats people are interested.
Well, I think that it is, both two governments, should bring the people of each other’s countries closer by developing relations in trade, economic activities, by sports and culture activities. There are lot of other venues from where these relations can be, can be made more stronger. It depends on the mutual relation and mutual respect of each other’s thoughts, that how much U.S. shares the interest of Pakistan.
There is some extent of censorship in journalism. The media cannot openly speak on most sensitive issues easily. I think censorship is always everywhere in the world, around the globe.
My most memorable experience in my life while covering an incident. I was covering a bomb explosion in 2006 when all of a sudden another blast exploded from where I was, about two yards away from. I have to suffer a lot and [I’m] still suffering its impact.
I’m leading a team of more than 20 or 30 journalists in Balochistan, including cameramen and reporters. So now when I send a dispatch any team I care about them, that they should be most careful while covering such incidents.”