PPF remembers murdered journalist Mukarram Khan Atif
A decade ago, senior journalist Mukarram Khan Atif, 40, a correspondent for Washington-based Pashto language “Deewa Radio” and a reporter for a private TV channel “Dunya News” was gunned down in Shabqadar area of Charsadda district by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan on Jan 17, 2012, in response to his refusal to give coverage to the Taliban on his radio
On the evening of Jan 17, 2012 gunman entered the mosque where Atif was performing evening prayer, Atif was in the middle of his prayers when the men fired at him thrice, He sustained multiple head injuries and was rushed to a nearby hospital in a critical condition but succumbed to his wounds.
The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the killing. TTP spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan said they killed the journalist because he had refused to give coverage to the Taliban on his radio station. He claimed they had advised the slain journalist repeatedly not to be on one side while covering issues related to the Taliban. The spokesman said Atif had been on their hit list and they finally eliminated him. He warned that other journalists were also on the hit list of the TTP and would be killed soon.
Safdar Hayat Dawar, former president of the Tribal Union of Journalists (TUJ), told PPF that Atif had received threats in past from Taliban in his hometown Mohmand Agency, of the Federally Administrated Tribal Area (FATA), and moved to Charsadda.
Mukarram was working with international media and Talibans were not happy with his work. They first threatened Mukarram then killed him for his reporting against them, Sartaj Haj, president of Charsadda press club told PPF.
Ahmed Ali, a colleague of Mukarram remembered him as an intelligent, brave, and passionate journalist. He told PPF that Mukarram left his teaching job just because of his craze for journalism and he was murdered for following his passion.
Mukarram used to report all events of the area, Ahmed also said that Talibans were unhappy with his work that is why they killed him and later on claimed responsibility for the attack, he added
Stringer for Deewa radio. Arshad khan who is also a cousin of Mukarram told PPF that Mukarram was killed due to his work, Talibans openly claimed the responsibility for the attack. The police did not arrest anyone.