One journalist killed in Pakistan; three wounded in attack during political rally
IPI joins calls by local groups for end to government ‘apathy’ over killings
By: Barbara Trionfi, Press Freedom Manager
Vienna, Oct 11, 2012: A Pakistani journalist was killed on Sunday while covering a political rally in the Khairpur district of Pakistan’s southern Sindh province, the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) reported. Another three journalists were injured in the attack, when two men reportedly opened indiscriminate fire at the gathering of the ruling Pakistan Peoples’ Party.
Following the attack, the injured journalists were rushed to a local hospital. Mushtaque Khand, a cameraman for Dharti TV news channel succumbed to his injuries; Faheem Mangi, a correspondent for the newspaper Naun Sij was reportedly in critical condition; Mukhtiyar Phulpoto, a correspondent for Awami Awaaz and freelance journalist Allahdad Rind are in stable condition.
“We are saddened by the death of yet another journalist in Pakistan and express our sincerest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Mushtaque Khand,” said IPI Executive Director Alison Bethel McKenzie. “The condition in which journalists in Pakistan have to work is appalling and unacceptable. Years of violence and unpunished attacks challenge the profession of journalism and undermine journalists. It is the responsibility of the state to ensure that journalists can practice their profession in a free and safe environment, and to ensure that justice is served when crimes are committed against them.”
On Monday, the Karachi Union of Journalists held a protest at the press club calling for press freedom and an end to the “government’s apathy over the law and order situation,” Pakistan’s newspaper The News reported. The article added that KUJ-D President Afzal Mohsin addressed demonstrators stating that “Attacks on journalists, particularly in Sindh and Balochistan, have become the order of the day. Some 30 journalists have died in the two provinces over the last few years.”
Mushtaque Khand is the fifth journalist killed this year in Pakistan, most likely in connection with his work.
Less than two weeks ago, on Sep. 29, Pakistani journalist Abdul Haq Baloch, a correspondent for ARY News television station and Secretary of the Khuzdar Press Club, was gunned down by unidentified armed men riding a motorbike in the militancy-plagued Balochistan province. The motive behind Haq Baloch’s killing remains unclear, according to local sources.