News / Asia

Pakistani Journalists Protest Shooting of Colleague

FILE - Pakistani journalist and television anchor, Hamid Mir talks with media representatives outside his home in Islamabad.
FILE - Pakistani journalist and television anchor, Hamid Mir talks with media representatives outside his home in Islamabad.
Ayaz Gul
 
A policeman shows the media a bullet hole in the door of a car which belongs to journalist Hamid Mir, at a local hospital in Karachi, Apr. 19, 2014.A policeman shows the media a bullet hole in the door of a car which belongs to journalist Hamid Mir, at a local hospital in Karachi, Apr. 19, 2014.
x
A policeman shows the media a bullet hole in the door of a car which belongs to journalist Hamid Mir, at a local hospital in Karachi, Apr. 19, 2014.
A policeman shows the media a bullet hole in the door of a car which belongs to journalist Hamid Mir, at a local hospital in Karachi, Apr. 19, 2014.
Journalists and civil society groups in Pakistan have taken to the streets to protest a shooting attack on one of the country’s best known television talk show hosts.  International media groups say they are alarmed by the continuing violence directed at journalists in Pakistan.   
 
The private Geo News channel’s prime time host, Hamid Mir, was ambushed and shot in Karachi on Saturday, as he traveled from the airport to the studio to conduct a live show.  He was hit by several bullets but doctors say his condition has stabilized.
 
The channel’s Islamabad bureau chief, Rana Jawad, says Mir is still under critical observation in the hospital.   
 
“He is out of danger, life threatening situation is over," said Jawad. "But it will be more than probably another 72 hours before one can really judge the extent of the damage that this shooting has caused.”
 
The 47-year-old Mir told police that his car was chased from the airport by unidentified men in a vehicle and motorcycles who then opened fire in a congested part of the road.
 
The attack has outraged journalists in Pakistan and on Sunday, they took to the streets of Islamabad to demand the government bring to justice those responsible.   
 
The demonstrators vowed not to be coerced by such tactics and demanded the government ensure protection for journalists and press freedom in the country.
 
Mir has faced threats in the past as well.  Police in 2012 found explosives under his car near his residence in Islamabad.  
 
Mir’s family members blamed Pakistan's military spy agency ISI for orchestrating the shooting in response to his criticism of the powerful institution.  But an army spokesman rejected the allegations, terming them “regrettable and misleading."
 
Separately, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday announced creation of a judicial commission to probe the incident.  The government has offered a reward of about $100,000 (10 million rupees) for information leading to the attackers.
 
But critics like Matiullah Jan, who hosts a talk show on another private Pakistani television channel, do not expect a productive outcome from the probe.

He says the military is too powerful an institution and political leaders remain reluctant to assert their constitutional control over it.  
 
“Therefore any complaint against (the military) establishment is not taken seriously at times and in fact it becomes a point of political bargaining with the establishment forces for the political governments," said Jan. "Unless this imbalance between civil and military is resolved, unless the political governments are in complete control, I think it will be asking for the moon to ask the government to probe into attacks on journalists.”  
 
Karachi, home to some 20 million people, has lately seen a dramatic increase in criminal, politically-motivated and militant violence. Many parts of the city are considered Taliban strongholds, while others are dominated by political parties through their armed wings.

Kidnappings for ransom happen almost daily.  In the latest such incident, police on Saturday reported that two local staffers of the United Nations Childern’s Fund were abducted.  

Critics of the military do not rule out the possibility of criminal involvement in the shooting of Hamid Mir and other attacks on journalists.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: NTaj
April 20, 2014 1:28 PM
"The attack has outraged journalists in Pakistan and on Sunday, they took to the streets of Islamabad to demand the government bring to justice those responsible."

Really, where do you get this news from?

by: ReignForrest from: San Jose
April 20, 2014 8:45 AM
Why no mention of ISI, whom he asked his brother to clearly implicate in this dastardly act?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs