Dawn News reporter's house attacked -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Dawn News reporter’s house attacked

ISLAMABAD: Unidentified people attacked the house of a reporter of DawnNews in the early hours of Tuesday and damaged property.

The attackers did not cause any physical harm to Azaz Syed and his family, and left after hurling stones at the house and damaging his car.

Mr Syed told Dawn that his younger brother woke him up at around 3am after sensing commotion outside their house in Alipur Town. In the meantime, the attackers started hurling stones. This lasted for a few minutes, terrorising the three members of the family and Mr Syed’s cousin.

His father went out after the situation calmed down and found the main gate locked from outside. The windscreen of the car was smashed.

Mr Syed said there were three attackers, of whom two hurled stones at the house and one stayed in a vehicle.

Later, he contacted the Rescue 15 service, which sent Shahzad Town police to inquire about the incident.

“I have no idea who the attackers were, but suspect that an intelligence agency was behind the incident,” he said.

A complaint had been lodged with the SDPO of Rural Circle, he added. Journalists covering Senate and National Assembly proceedings walked out from both the houses of parliament in protest against the incident.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik, PML-N MNA Sardar Ayaz Saddiq and ANP Senator Zahid Khan went to the press lounge and were briefed about the incident by journalists’ representatives.

Mr Malik “apologised” to Mr Syed for the incident and promised that the culprits would be brought to book.

He said he had asked the deputy inspector general (operation) to hold an inquiry and submit preliminary findings by the evening.

The minister announced that he had suspended the official in charge of Rescue 15 for not reaching the place in time. He said the station house officer concerned would also face action if he had failed to respond promptly.

Mr Syed said police had responded in time and the minister had been misguided. “I request the minister to reinstate the official.”

A statement issued by DawnNews said unknown people had attacked the house of investigative reporter Azaz Syed. They locked both gates of the house, leaving the terrorised family inside. The windscreen of his car was also smashed.

The attack happened a day after Mr Syed was threatened by Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) sleuths over an investigative report he was preparing about the military.

The DawnNews management said it would take up the matter with President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minster Yousuf Raza Gilani, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar and ISPR Director-General Maj-Gen Athar Abbas as well as journalist unions and human rights organisations.

The management urged the authorities to initiate a high-level inquiry.
Source: Dawn
Date:1/20/2010