Pak scribes demand clarification over killing

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 - 14:12

Islamabad: Journalist organisations in Pakistan have demanded that the government clarify former Sindh home minister Zulfikar Mirza`s statement that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was behind the killing of reporter Wali Khan Babar.

GEO reporter Wali Khan Babar, 28, was gunned down in Karachi Jan 13.

Mirza had claimed that the MQM was behind the killing of Babar.

Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) Monday gave five days to the government to clarify its position, reported Dawn.

It expressed concern over the inability of the authorities to arrest the killers.

"Journalists are being targeted with impunity and the government has failed miserably to check this dangerous trend," a statement said.

The National Press Club too expressed concern over Mirza`s claim.

NPC president Afzal Butt presided over the meeting which called upon the government to explain its position about Babar`s killers.

They warned that they would not hesitate to launch a countrywide movement over this issue.

Journalists have been frequently attacked in Pakistan.

Munir Ahmed Shahkir, a senior journalist with the Waqt News newspaper, was shot several times and rushed to a hospital where he succumbed to injuries Aug 14.

On Aug 10, a journalist was manhandled for exposing malpractices at a premier hospital in Karachi.

Journalist Saleem Shahzad, 40, was kidnapped in Islamabad May 29. Two days later, his body, bearing marks of severe torture, was found dumped in a canal in Punjab province.

Shahzad is widely believed to have been picked up by intelligence officials for alleging in an article that terrorists attacked a key naval base in Karachi May 22 after the navy refused to free sailors held for suspected militant links.

In June, a journalist working for Britain`s Guardian newspaper was attacked by policemen apparently over his appearance in a TV talk show.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 - 14:12

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