Dawn staffer survives attempt on life -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Dawn staffer survives attempt on life

ISLAMABAD: Dawn’s correspondent in Gujar Khan narrowly escaped an attempt on his life Thursday when a bullet fired by an unidentified gunman went through his ankle.

A man appearing to be in his early 20s knocked at the door of Mr Asghar’s house in Ward No. 19 near the Gujar Khan grid station.

When his cousin — Asim Ajayab — responded, the man who was sporting a light mustache told him that he wanted to meet Mr Asghar for attestation of some documents.

As Mr Asghar came to the door the man pulled out a pistol he was hiding in a file cover and started indiscriminate firing. He fired six shots but luckily five missed the target. However, one bullet went through Mr Asghar’s left ankle.

The gunman ran away and was picked up by his accomplice who was present at the edge of the street about 100 metres away on a motorcycle.

Mr Asghar informed the local police, who arrived at the spot. The injured was shifted to the hospital where he would undergo treatment for at least two days.

The Dawn’s correspondent denied having enmity with anyone, and said he had no idea why he was attacked. However, journalists are always under threat, he added.

Shortly after getting the information, Regional Police Officer (RPO) Rawalpindi Nasir Khan Durrani and City Police Officer (CPO) Rao Iqbal also paid a visit to the injured and inquired after him.

The two senior police officers assured him that the culprits would be arrested soon.

Likewise, Senator Pervez Rashid also directed the police officers to bring the culprits to the book.

Gujar Khan Press Club demanded the arrest of the culprits and gave a 48-hour deadline to the police.

Condemnation

Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) President Pervez Shaukat, Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ) President Shahryar Khan, General Secretary Afzal Butt and National Press Club President Tariq Chaudhry have condemned the attack on Hamid Asghar and demanded immediate arrest of the culprits.

They criticised the authorities for failing to arrest the culprits involved in the murder of journalists.

Meanwhile, journalists and media organisations have condemned the murder attempt Thursday on Dawn’s correspondent in Gujar Khan, Hamid Asghar, who was seriously injured in the attack.

In an emergency meeting, members of local media organisations expressed their concern over the incident which had triggered unrest among the entire media community.

They expressed solidarity with their colleague and his family, and prayed for his early recovery.

The journalists asked the government to immediately arrest the culprits and expose the real motive behind the attempted murder.

They also called upon President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to take notice of the increasing violence against the media persons and take proper steps for the protection of their life.

Source: Dawn

Date:6/26/2009