Taliban targeted Hamid Mir `for favouring Malala`

Hamid Mir said that he was already “vigilant and expecting” the attack bid.

Updated: Nov 29, 2012, 10:18 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Islamabad: The editor of Pakistani news channel Geo TV, Hamid Mir, who recently escaped a bid on his life, has said that he was under the radar of Taliban because he had written columns in favour of teen activist Malala Yousufzai.

Hamid Mir said that he was already “vigilant and expecting” the attack bid, as he had received a six page threat from Taliban last month, warning that they would target him for writing columns in favour of the girl activist Malala.

Hamid Mir said that, “They were angry with me after some of my shows and columns which I wrote in support of the little girl Malala Yousufzai… I was already expecting and I was vigilant, but unfortunately on Monday I was not very careful.”

Hamid Mir, a senior anchor, journalist and security analyst narrowly escaped a bid on his life when his driver’s neighbor noticed a suspicious black bag dangling beneath his car.

An improvised explosive device was found planted under his car which was defused soon by the bomb disposal squad.

The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the assassination attempt on Hamid Mir and has warned of more attacks on anyone pursuing the secular agenda.

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said that Mir was following a secular agenda and was helping those who were working against the principles of Islam, in a reference to Malala. He said that those targeting the Taliban would be targeted with explosives.

Malala Yousufzai, a 14 year old activist came to prominence at the age of 11, when she started writing a diary for BBC Urdu about life in Swat valley under the Taliban.
The young teen girl, who became a symbol of resistance of Taliban`s anti girl education stand, was shot in the head by the militants on October 9.

Presently, she is recuperating in Britain’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Malala had on Tuesday made a telephone call to Hamid Mir, a day after he survived the assassination attempt

"Malala Yousafzai and her father just called me from UK and expressed their solidarity. Malala said that Insha Allah we will defeat terrorists," Mir had tweeted.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Rehman Malik has announced a reward of Rs.50 million for credible information regarding the attempt on the journalist`s life.