Gunmen harass Daily Times staffer -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Gunmen harass Daily Times staffer

By: Imran Chaudhry

LAHORE: Two unidentified armed men held Punjab Union of Journalists Joint Secretary Afnan Khan, who is also Daily Times chief reporter, at gunpoint on Canal Road but fled from the scene due to fear of some approaching vehicles and noise of horns.

Khan was going to his home from Daily Times office at around 2am on Friday. He noticed that a Land Cruiser was chasing him when he took turn to Canal Bank Road from The Mall. The vehicle first overtook his car then stopped in front of his car all of a sudden, compelling Khan to stop his car. Two armed men holding pistols immediately jumped out of the vehicle and aimed their guns at him. He got confused and pushed the horn. Meanwhile, some car with its heavy lights appeared behind on the deserted road and out of some fear the assailants rushed to their vehicle and ran away.

After regaining his senses, Afnan Khan made a call to rescue police at its help line 15. Somebody picked up the phone and he told the whole story, requesting him to send some help. After waiting for five minutes, he again called but police didn’t come to the spot. Fearing that the assailants may come again, he left the place and reached his residence. After reaching his house, Khan once again called rescue police 15 to inform that he was safe but nobody came there and he wanted to lodge the first information report of the incident.

In his application to Ghalib Market Station House Officer for registration of a report, Afnan Khan stated that his life was under serious threat and the law enforcers could not do anything to ensure his security despite multiple threats. “I was receiving numerous threat calls due to my critical reporting on the issues of human rights, minorities and investigative reports for several years and lodged a number of reports with the local police station in this regard. I have recently filed stories about how sectarianism was destroying the country and government was only taking superficial steps while letting the extremists openly run hate campaigns against their opponents.”

“The people who tried to pick me might belong to Jamaatud Dawa as I had also criticised them for wall-chalking and add campaign against India while urging people to launch jihad against India despite claiming to have a charity organisation and claiming to have no links with banned Lashkar-e-Tayyaba. I had questioned the role of security agencies in these issues too,” he added.