Journalist Talat and other Pakistanis are safe
By Amir Wasim
ISLAMABAD: TV journalist Talat Hussain and two other Pakistanis who were on board a ship that Israeli commandos stormed in international waters on Monday are reported to be safe but their whereabouts are not known.
An official statement issued after Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani made a telephone call to the wife of Talat Hussain said that Interpol had informed the government that the journalist was in “safe hands”.
Talat’s brother, defence analyst Syed Riffat Hussain, also told journalists that the government had informed him that there was no Pakistani among the people killed or injured in the attack.
Aaj TV’s executive director Talat Hussain and producer Raza Mehmood Agha and NGO Khubaib Foundation’s chief Nadeem Ahmed Khan were among about 600 people on the Turkish Freedom Flotilla that was carrying relief goods for Palestinians besieged in Gaza.
The TV channel quoted a spokesman for the US embassy in Islamabad as saying that it was in constant touch with the US embassy in Tel Aviv and the Israeli foreign ministry and that there was no Pakistani among those killed or injured.
Talat Hussain and the producer had left Islamabad for Turkey on May 21 for going to Gaza.
Pakistan Muslim League-Q secretary-general Mushahid Hussain told Dawn that he had come to know through his own sources that Talat Hussain and other Pakistanis were safe.
He said that a brother of Nadeem Khan was an office-bearer of the PML-Q and he had been informed by a Turkish journalist that Talat Hussain was safe. He said the non-government organisation had arranged the trip for the journalists.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik visited the residence of Talat Hussain and assured his family that the government would take all steps to ensure the wellbeing and safety of the journalist.