Media offices attacked in Karachi
Unidentified gunmen fired at the entrance of the offices of ‘Express’ media group in Karachi, the capital city of Sindh province on August 16, 2013, injuring the security guard and a female marketing staff member. The Express group personnel said they were not sure about the reason for the attack as they had not received any complain, warning or threats from any group about their media content.
Four armed men on two motorcycles fired around 30-40 bullets at the main gate of office building at 11:20 am which houses the office of “Express Tribune” an English-language newspaper, “Roznama Express” the Urdu-language newspaper and the Express TV news channel.
The injured included Raheela Zohair, staff member of the marketing department and Mir Ali, a security guard. Ali is reported to be critical condition while Zohair is a stable state.
All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS), Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) and Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) have condemned the attack.
All Pakistan Newspapers Society APNS president Mr. Sarmad Ali and secretary general Mr. Masood Hamid, strongly condemns the acts of violence as an attempt to suppress the media by force and termed the incident as a brutal attack on freedom of expression and the peoples right to know.
The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) condemned the attack as “an assault on freedom of expression and freedom of media.” An emergency meeting by CPNE’s Sindh Committee on August 17, appealed to religious and political parties and civil society members to come forward and play their role in order to discourage the intolerance and mounting pressure on media groups. The meeting also stressed upon devising a joint strategy against terrorism, intolerance and incidents aimed at muzzling the press.
Condemning the attack, The President of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) Pervaiz Shaukat and Secretary-General Amin Yousuf have said targeting of media offices was tantamount to suppressing freedom of expression. They said that journalists throughout the country stood united and would not be bogged down by such cowardly acts. They demanded of the law enforcement agencies to arrest the culprits and prevent such incidents in future.
Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) strongly condemned the attack on the offices of Express Media. Sajid Aziz, the president KUJ termed the firing incident an open threat to journalist community which, he said, will not succumb to the pressure and continue its journalistic duties. He demanded that the criminals involved in the act of terrorism should be exposed and given exemplary punishment and the law enforcers should win the confidence of media through earliest arrest of the terrorists.
President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed solidarity with the Express Media and advised the concerned officials to ensure the security of media organisation and its employees.
Police have registered the criminal case on August 18.
Pakistan Press Foundation