Free speaking journo shot dead in Pak

Geo News termed Wali Khan Babar a brave and courageous person who always eyed high aims in life.

Last Updated: Jan 14, 2011, 15:30 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Islamabad: A journalist of a private television channel was shot dead by a group of unidentified assailants in Pakistan`s southern city of Karachi, where at least seven others were also killed in different incidents of target killing, police said.

Wali Khan Babar, 29, who was working with the Geo News, was attacked near Liaquatabad Dakkhana bus stop Thursday evening while he was on his way home after filing a report.

"Initial investigation suggests that Babar was stuck in a traffic jam when a man stopped in front of his car. The man pulled out a pistol and fired several shots at Babar before returning to his associate waiting across the road on a motorbike to disappear from the scene in a flash," said Deputy Inspector General of Police (West) Sultan Khawaja.

The police found five empty cases of .9mm bullets from the scene. Babar received bullets on his forehead, face and neck.

The official ruled out mugging attempt as motive behind the firing, saying "it appeared to be a premeditated murder".

At least seven others killed and 12 injured Thursday in a spate of violence that broke out in the city after a senior leader of the Awami National Party was attacked.

According to police and party sources, two gunmen on a bike sprayed bullets on the car of Bashir Jan, Sindh ANP`s information secretary. He suffered a bullet injury in the hand, while his two guards were shot in the legs and abdomen. They were rushed to a hospital.

The incident sparked violence in many parts of the city.

In a separate incident, four men were killed when a group of people came under an armed attack in Qasba area, while three others were killed in Liaquatabad and Orangi Town.

An official at the Sindh police surgeon office said that five bodies with gunshot wounds were brought to Abbassi Shaheed Hospital and Qatar Hospital.

The incident came as a grim reminder of a recent report by a media advocacy group that described Pakistan as the deadliest country for journalists in 2010.

The International News Safety Institute (INSI) recorded that 97 journalists were killed last year in 30 countries, of whom 85 were murdered.

Most of the victims were not foreign correspondents assigned to war zones but reporters working in their own countries, seeking to expose criminality and corruption, British daily the Guardian said citing the INSI report.

The most murderous country in 2010 was Pakistan where 16 journalists were killed in a spate of violence that has continued into the New Year.

The first casualty of 2011 was 22-year-old Balochistan reporter, Ilyas Nazar, whose bullet-riddled body was found by a roadside eight days ago.

‘Bravery’ was essence of Shaheed Babar’s life: Geo News

In an obituary posted on its website, Geo News called Wali Khan Babar a brave and courageous person who always eyed high aims and had demonstrated heroism even on the last day of his life.

Shaheed Wali Babar remained busy in disseminating information to people of Pakistan pertaining to police-rangers’ joint search operation in some areas here in metropolis on Thursday – the day Shaheed was gunned down.

Bravery being a ‘gist of his life’ can be judged through his facebook account wherein he had mentioned ‘bravery’ as his most important quality.

May the departed soul of Shaheed Babar rest in peace and harmony in eternal life.

With IANS inputs