Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir shot at, brother suspects ISI involvement

Senior Pakistani journalist and TV anchor Hamid Mir was shot at in country`s financial capital Karachi on Saturday evening, reports said.

By Hemant Abhishek | Updated: Apr 20, 2014, 13:50 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Senior Pakistani journalist and TV anchor Hamid Mir was shot at in country`s financial capital Karachi on Saturday evening, reports said.

Mir, 47, sustained three bullet injuries on lower part of his body after he was shot at near Natha Khan bridge soon after he left the Karachi airport for his office. He had just landed in Karachi and was on his way to the studios of Geo TV.

He was rushed to hospital where he was operated upon for over nearly three hours. Doctors said Mir had lost a lot of blood and hence the operation took much longer time than expected.

Karachi police chief Shahid Hayat said Mir was shot thrice, one bullet piercing his intestine while the other two wounded his leg and pelvic area. He is "out of danger", he said.

Four gunmen riding two motorcycles opened fire on Mir`s car about six kilometers from the airport, GeoTV said.

Dawn reported that the gunmen opened fire at the vehicle at 5:30pm and Mir was admitted to hospital in a state of unconsciousness.

Mir`s brother Amir accused "elements in the ISI" of orchestrating the attack on him.

Amir, a leading investigative journalist, told Geo TV that Mir had told him two weeks back that if anything happens to him then "elements in the ISI and its chief Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam should be blamed".

Geo News Islamabad bureau chief, Rana Jawad said Mir told him after being attacked that the gunmen were following him and continued to fire at the car.

Geo TV reported that Mir had confided the same to his
friends, senior management of the channel, certain officials in the government and even the Army.

"No terrorist organisation would know that he was coming to Karachi from Islamabad. Intelligence people are everywhere. Only they would know his movement," Amir said.

No outfit till late tonight claimed responsibility for the attack.

Pakistan military came out with a statement denying any ISI role in the attack.

"Raising allegations against the ISI or head of the ISI without any basis is highly regrettable and misleading," an army spokesperson said, rejecting allegations levelled by his brother.

Mir has often been on the hit-list of Pakistani Taliban for his vociferous criticism of the terrorist organisation.

Earlier in 2012 too he had escaped an attempt on his life when explosives were found attached to his car`s under-carriage in Pakistani capital Islamabad.
That attack, reports said, had come in the wake of the shooting of teenaged rights activist Malala Yousafzai.

Just last month, senior analyst Raza Rumi was shot at in Lahore that killed his driver.

The issue of security of media personnel was raised by Committee to Protect Journalists, a media advocacy group, during a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif last month.

The Prime Minister had promised to take appropriate steps to ensure security of journalists in Pakistan.

Political parties condemned the attack. "Shocked & saddened by attack on Hamid Mir in Karachi. Strongly condemn growing threats/attacks on journalists. Govt must ensure their safety," Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan tweeted.

PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari tweeted, "Hamid Mir never steps back from speaking out.

May this braveheart recover fast from cowardly attack".

Mir belongs to a literary and journalistic family.

His grandfather Mir Abdul Aziz was an Urdu, Persian, and Punjabi language poet from Sialkot. Mir`s father, professor Waris Mir, was also a columnist.

With Agency Inputs