Cameraman to get HR award for filming Kharotabad incident
By: Mumtaz Alvi
ISLAMABAD: Jamal Tarakai, who had presented videos and photographs of the Kharotabad tragedy, reported the world over to the judicial tribunal, continues to live with a sense of insecurity ever since the killing of five foreigners on May 17 in Quetta.
There is a good news for him: In recognition of his professional work and the ordeal he faced after filming security forces’ gunning down unarmed persons, the Ministry of Human Rights has decided to honour him with a Human Rights Award on the International Human Rights Day.
Talking to The News here at his office, Adviser to Prime Minister on Human Rights, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, said his ministry would give the award to Tarakai for helping to unmask the real killers of foreigners.
Moreover, Mustafa said they would be pushing for a job for him in Islamabad, as it might not be safe for him and his family to live in Quetta after the key role he had played on May 17 and afterwards. He was hopeful journalist bodies would also explore ways and means to assist such media persons, who upheld professional dignity even in the face of threats and pressures.
Media reports had said that along with Dr Baqir Shah, a police surgeon, who had made public the postmortem report, which belied the police claim that the unfortunate persons had died due to explosives, they carried with them, Tarakai was subjected to torture by the police at the Kharotabad police station.
The photojournalist, 34, blessed with one daughter and four sons, has been shuttling between Balochistan’s provincial capital and Islamabad, especially after the release of tribunal’s findings regarding the massacre.
“My children and spouse continue to live in Quetta. But I keep on moving between the provincial capital and the federal capital, because I feel insecure,” Tarakai said during a phonic chat with this correspondent. He returned to Quetta a day before Eidul Fitr but will be back within a few days to Islamabad.
Tarakai regrets the media bodies, which get funds even from foreign bodies had not been able to help him cope with problems, which unfolded after the May 17 tragedy.
Source: The News