MCP, RSF condemn killing of journalist in Rawalpindi -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

MCP, RSF condemn killing of journalist in Rawalpindi

LAHORE: The Media Commission Pakistan (MCP) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) have condemned the killing of Islami Inqilab editor Amir Wakeel by unidentified gunmen in Rawalpindi and an attack on a private TV station.

On January 24, attackers shot 40-year-old Wakeel in the head a few hundred meters from his house. On Monday, an angry crowd ransacked the studios of Samaa TV in Quetta.

“This killing is a reminder that the security situation has not improved for media persons,” said MCP President IA Rehman and General Secretary Wamiq Zuberi in a joint statement.

The press freedom organisation offered its condolences to Wakeel’s family and colleagues, including his brother Kamal Asfar, also a journalist, and called on the government to consider new measures to protect private media organisations.

“Aamir told me two hours before he was murdered that he had received threats from unidentified people,” Asfar told the RSF.

The MCP demanded an immediate inquiry into Wakeel’s murder, and called on the government to take necessary steps to investigate the case. The National Union of Journalists of Pakistan has begun its own investigation in an attempt to identify the motives.

Before Wakeel’s murder, two journalists — Muhammad Imran, a trainee cameraman, and Saleem Tahir Awan, a freelance reporter — had died in a bomb blast in January.

The killing of three journalists in Pakistan in the first month of the year did not augur well for press freedom and democracy, the MCP members said.

“If the climate of violence is not brought under control, the government will not be able to say it is doing everything to ensure that Pakistani journalists can work in a free and safe environment,” the RSF said in a statement. Seven journalists were killed in Pakistan in 2008.
Source: Daily Times
Date:1/27/2009