Pakistan Drops in the Latest World Press Freedom Index 2019

Pakistan has slipped three places in 2019’s World Press Freedom Index. The index compiled by the Reporters Sans Frontières or Reporters Without Borders (RSF) – a Paris-based international non-profit organization working for freedom of information.

Out of 18o countries, RSF – powered by the World Economic Forum (WEF) – has placed Pakistan on 142nd with an overall global score of 45.83, three places down from 2018’s 139th spot.

The agency has cited alleged media curbs on the country’s print and electronic media, especially during the 2018’s general elections.

The military “establishment,” which opposes independent journalism, stepped up its harassment of the media significantly in the run-up to the July 2018 general elections. There were many cases of brazen censorship in which the military exercised pressure on the media.

The ranking is still much improved when compared to 2013 when Pakistan was ranked at 159th.

Here is a yearly ranking breakdown since 2013:

Year Ranking (Out of 180)
2013 159
2014 158
2015 159
2016 147
2017 139
2018 139
2019 142


With a marginally improved global score of 45.75, India is sitting two places above Pakistan at 140th spot.

Even the champion countries of democracy and the freedom of expression have failed to make it to the top ten, with the United Kingdom on the 33rd and the United States reeling at the 48th position. All the top five countries are European; Norway, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands, and Denmark.

All authoritarian countries like North Korea (179), China (177), Saudi Arabia (172), and Iran (170), are ranked among the bottom ten. 

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