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

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

Ninety percent of homes in one small village were damaged or destroyed as government forces failed to stop a rebel advance More

Pakistan’s 'Last Self-Declared Jew' Attacked, Detained

Argument about the rights of non-Muslims in Pakistan allegedly results in mob beating well-known Jewish Pakistani More

Turkey Cracks Down on Political Dissent, Again

People daring to engage in political dissent ahead of upcoming general elections could find themselves in jail 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.
In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobanii
X
Mahmoud Bali
March 06, 2015 8:43 PM
Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobani

Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

In the village of Nikishino, in eastern Ukraine, recent fighting has brought utter devastation. Ninety percent of the houses are damaged or destroyed after government forces tried and failed to stop rebels advancing on the strategically important town of Debaltseve nearby. Patrick Wells reports for VOA from Nikishino.
Video

Video Crime Scenes Re-Created in 3-D Visualization

Police and prosecutors sometimes resort to re-creations of crime scenes in order to better understand the interaction of all participants in complicated cases. A Swiss institute says advanced virtual reality technology can be used for quality re-creations of events at the moment of the crime. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More