Pakistani authorities must thoroughly investigate the killing of journalist Jam Saghir Ahmed Lar and ensure that his murderers are brought to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Friday.

On March 14, Lar, a correspondent for the Daily Khabrain newspaper and contributor to local news outlets in the city of Khanpur in central Punjab province, was fatally shot by three unidentified assailants, according to media reports and CPJ’s review of a copy of the first information report (FIR), a document which opens an investigation.

“Pakistan authorities must swiftly and transparently investigate the killing of journalist Jam Saghir Ahmed Lar and determine whether it was linked to his journalism, including the death threats he received previously,” said CPJ Asia Program Coordinator Beh Lih Yi. “The heinous killing of journalists and its impunity must end in Pakistan. The government must step up protection for the media and ensure journalists can report without fear of reprisals.”

The FIR, lodged by Jaleel Ahmed, the journalist’s brother, stated that on the evening of March 14, Lar was inside a pharmacy when he was attacked by three individuals, two armed with AK-47 rifles and one with a pistol.

The assailants then fled the scene on a motorbike, according to the FIR, citing eyewitnesses.

The motive behind Lar’s killing remains unclear, but his brother said the journalist had received death threats from unidentified sources following his reporting on influential local figures.

Lar maintained a public Facebook page, which has 5,600 followers, where he posted about politics and other current affairs in Pakistan.

Police in Punjab province did not respond to CPJ’s request for comment via email.

Since 1992, 64 journalists have been killed in connection with their work in Pakistan, CPJ’s data shows. The country ranked 11th on CPJ’s 2023 Global Impunity Index, which ranks countries by how often killers of journalists go unpunished.