PAKISTAN: Two journalist killed-tall claims fall flat as target killing continues unabated
A new wave of target killings of journalists and attacking on the media houses have again started. With in the span of 24 hours two media persons were killed by, as usual, “unknown persons”. The score comes to five during the current year. According to Dunya Tv during the last five years 65 journalists were killed in Pakistan and still no precautions were taken to protect the journalists by the government and media houses themselves.
On September 9, two unidentified armed men shot dead senior journalist Aftab Alam on in a drive-by shooting incident in the city’s North Karachi area. According to media reports Alam was shot dead by unidentified assailants outside his house. The senior journalist was critically injured in the attack and was rushed to the Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
On September 8 in evening another media man, Mr. Arshad Ali Jaffery, of Geo News channel was attacked while he was sitting with his driver in a DSN van. As usual the three unknown attackers came on a motor bike and did indiscriminate firing targeting Jaffery. He received nine bullet shots and driver received two bullets. He died in hospital. The Geo news always remains under attack from political groups and the authorities
It has been two years since the Karachi operation against extortionist and target killers began in Karachi yet so far there has not been any major improvement in the law and order situation in the metropolis of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh province, Pakistan. Organized crimes, gang war between militia groups maintained by political parties and target killings have cost the economic hub of the country billions of Dollars.
The recent cases of target killing negate the tall claims of police officers who report that that the trend in target killing has decreased by 70 percents. According to media reports 112 people were killed in the month of August alone. The figure included the attack on political leaders Dilshad Mavia of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) and Rasheed Godil a political leader of Muttaida Qaoumi Movement (MQM) and sitting member of the National Assembly. Mavia was shot dead in an act of targeted killing in Orangi Town on 18th August while Mr. Rasheed Godil survived the attempt on his life by target killers.
The case of slain activist Sabeen Mehmood suffered a setback when her driver Ghulam Abbas was shot death by unknown assailants. Abbas was the main witness in the case and had identified the assailants who killed Sabeen. According to police officials investigating the case, strong evidence of banned outfit’s involvement in Sabeen’s murder has been found. The murder brings to light the state’s disinterest in witness protection. The assailants are subsequently acquitted for want of evidence and witness in such cases where the star witness are killed or threatened into silence.
The solution to Karachi’s law and order situation lies not in targeted operation but in political dialogue but on the personal instructions of chief of army staff, General Raheel Sharif, a ruthless operation has been started which is now targeting political workers rather than terrorists. This is the reason the banned militant groups again find liberty to operate freely without any fear. Though the operation may cause a temporary lull in the otherwise volatile city the calm will be short lived. The absence of political co operation and strong local body governance has made Karachi on of the deadliest cities in the world.
Text Courtesy: The Asian Human Rights Commission