Attack on Jang
The attack on the offices of the Jang Group of Newspapers and Geo television in Karachi by several unidentified armed men early on January 29 morning deserves to be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
While an inquiry has been ordered by the Sindh home minister, the group’s TV channel has linked the attack to the broadcast a day earlier of an interview of Israel’s deputy prime minister. According to another report, a little after the attack an anonymous caller claimed responsibility and warned the management to stop airing a TV programme on marital and gender relations or face further attacks.
Whatever the motive, the incident is an open assault on the freedom of the press. No one has a right to seek to thrust his views on the media by a show of force.
It is the right of the public to protest against news or programmes, but there are legal ways open to voice complaints. Those who wish to browbeat the media or limit freedom of expression in an already restrictive environment must be checked.
The country has a bitter experience at the hands of misguided extremists and zealots using brazen force and violence to impose on the rest of society their own narrow notions of politics, religion and culture.What is also disturbing is that a police mobile deployed at the newspaper’s office, as part of the security arrangements reportedly did nothing to stop the attackers. The government should spare no effort to trace the attackers and bring them as well as those who may be behind them to justice.