Veteran journalist murdered
ISLAMABAD, November 01, 2006: Malik Mohammad Ismail Khan, veteran journalist and Resident Editor of Pakistan Press International (PPI) was brutally murdered in wee hours of Tuesday, sending a wave of shock and panic in the federal capital. His dead body was found with his partially mutilated skull and a depressed eye on the left few furlongs away from his office, located at Super Market at 9:00 a.m on Wednesday. The police recovered the body after a caller informed them about his corpse.
The Islamabad Capital Territory Police Superintendent (Investigation) Ashfaq Ahmed told journalists that apparently it was an act of target killing. His body was found from the backside of a petrol pump, opposite to Super Market. He said that currency notes and cheques were recovered from his Kameez. However, his mobile phone was missing, which his staff members revealed was in his hand while departing from the office.
After performing autopsy of the slain journalist’s body, Dr. Wasim Khawaja, medico-legal officer of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) said the assailants were two or three, who even after taking his life, hit his head with sharp weapons and some heavy tools. He ruled out the possibility of his death as a result of a traffic mishap and said that some parts of his heart, brain, liver and lungs had been sent for chemical examination to Lahore to determine whether or not he was poisoned to death, prior to crushing a part of his head.
Malik Ismail, 52, having the reputation of being kind and accommodative, left the office Tuesday night at around 9:15 after attending a function at the Turkish Embassy, however never come back. He started his career from PPI and later, joined The Frontier Post and also worked as editor with the Online news agency and assumed the charge of his mother organisation as resident editor last year. According to Mohammad Khateeb, his younger brother, the deceased had no enmity. He has two sons: One living in Britain while the other was in Pakistan to celebrate Eid.
His funeral will be held at his native village Doordaad in Attock at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday. The journalist fraternity offered his funeral prayer at Zero Point in the evening. The SP said that they were confident of tracing the perpetrators. However, he fell short of giving any date. He added the journalist was hit with a sharp-edged weapon and heavy hammer several times. Dr. Khawaja pointed out that pieces of meat, which he must have eaten, were not yet fully digested, suggesting, he was targeted around at might night. “The wounds on his face and head suggest that the culprits were trained and they hit him with precision,” he said.
Malik Ismail’s body was shifted to the PIMS by the police and later, his brother was informed about the tragedy. Labour and Manpower Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan visited mortuary and expressed his shock, saying it was more alarming that the journalist was murdered in Islamabad. Federal Information Minister Muhammad Ali Durrani also visited PIMS and condemned the brutal killing. He assured the journalists that culprits will be brought to justice. He also assured that the government would try its level best to unearth the murderers and take them to task.