Television channel reporter gunned down in Karachi
Wali Khan Babar, 29, reporter of “Geo News, Pakistan’s largest private television news channel, was gunned down by unidentified armed men in Karachi on January 13, 2011. Babar received five bullets – two in forehead, one in jaw and two in neck. He was killed shortly after covering operation against drug-traffickers in Pehalwan Goth area in Karachi.
According to press reports, Babar was returning home from Geo News office after performing his professional responsibilities, when two assailants on motorcycle intercepted his car at 9:21 pm and shot him five times through driver’s window from close range. Eyewitnesses told journalists that Babar’s car was stopped by attackers who, after making identification, shot him dead
The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Sultan Khawaja ruled out mugging attempt as motive behind the firing, saying “it appeared to be a premeditated murder.
Although they were not able to pinpoint the exact reason for his death, a number of his seniors at Geo News believe that Babar was killed as a result of his journalistic work Azhar Abbas, Managing Director of the Geo Television Network said that they don’t know who is behind this, but they definitely take it as a message for the entire media community. This reflects a dangerous trend of intolerance to target the media personnel who reveal the truth
No one has claimed the responsibility of the murder. The Police have lodged criminal complaint filed by deceased brother, Muhammad Khan Babar.
Babar leaves behind a widow mother, three sisters and four brothers.
The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has condemned the killing of Babar and decided to observe countrywide’ black day’ of Friday, January 14, 2011, staging protest rallies and hoisting black flags on offices of journalist’s union and press clubs to expresses their resentment.
The PFUJ said this incident has once again proved that working conditions in Pakistan for media practitioners are neither conducive nor safe and the killing of media persons has become order of the day. The PFUJ further pointed out that despite killing of media persons none of the killers has so far been brought to justice, which itself speaks volumes about violence and lawlessness in which media persons are forced to perform their professional assignments without any security, insurance, and training.
Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)