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

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

    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.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora