PARIS: A report by Global Watchdog on Wednesday published by Reporters Without Borders revealed that Pakistani journalists are increasingly resorting to self-censorship due to pressures from extremist groups and intelligence agencies. The report claimed that such pressure groups were already on the list of predators of press freedom. According to the country’s report accompanying Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) media freedom index 2018, in October 2017, armed groups in South-Western province of Balochistan issued a warning to journalists, threatening them of violence if the actions of such groups were refused to be covered, as per the directive of the security forces. The report further added that reporters were caught between crossfire during the coverage of Islamabad sit-in protests in 2017, naturally resulting in increased self-censorship in the newsroom. RSP in its report placed Pakistan on 139th position of 180 countries that restrained press freedom. The watchdog rated India on 138th position, going two places down from 136th the previous year. Watchdog reported that so far one journalist had been murdered in Pakistan compared to three murdered in India. The media watchdog stated that press freedom around the world was under threat by three major oppressors including, US President Donald Trump, and Russia and China’s policies to control the media. It warned that a climate of hatred and animosity towards journalists will be visible, with growing attempts to contain press freedoms. The report claimed that such measures posed a threat to democracies, as reporters were targeted by the authoritarian leaders inculcating hostility against journalists. The populist politics in Europe led by Moscow, was threatening freedoms in the region which were once considered to be the safest places for media representatives. Similarly, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland are following Moscow’s footsteps and setting off alarms to curb media freedom. RSF further added that hostility towards journalists was no longer confined to authoritarian regimes rather it was poisoning the political environment even in democracies. The report claimed that democratic leaders had started taking media as an adversary group rather than taking it as an essential element of democracy like in India, US and Philippines. RSF report specifically criticised President Trump who had labeled the media/journalists as enemies of the people, a term once used by Stalin. According to RSF report, North Korea ranks number one among repressive countries followed by Eritrea, Turkmenistan, Syria and China. In comparison, Norway ranked on top for having the freest press for the second year in a row.