Not once or twice but for three times since March this year, journalist Jamshed Baghwan has witnessed attacks at his house in Peshawar.
It is unusual in Jamshed Baghwan’s case, since the attackers till today remain unidentified.
Working for the Express News channel since 2007, Baghwan is clueless why he is being targeted.
“Going by police assessment, the people who are bombing my residence they want me either to leave the channel or Peshawar,” he told Freedom Network [FN], Pakistan’s first media watchdog organization monitoring press and online freedoms and freedom of expression, in an interview days after the latest attack.
The third bombing on 2 July 2014 was far more serious than the previous two attacks, prompting his mother to ask him to leave the city for his safety. “This one was bigger and more destructive,” Baghwan said listing damages at his home.
“Kids, aged six, eight and 10 years, are traumatized and so is my ageing mother.”
Baghwan said: “The people while planting the bomb were seen. I think slackness on the part of police to properly investigate the matter has actually encouraged these elements.” It took a great deal of effort to push the police to make an effort for thorough investigations, he recalled.
The Express News channel’s Peshawar bureau chief argued that it would have been better had the police asked the witnesses to come forward and share information to enhance the speed of the investigation.
Baghwan is a senior journalist with vast experience of covering KP and the surrounding regions. The overall security situation for media in this region leaves much to be desired for a long time.
In his profession life whatever mishaps occurred in this region he covered for the television reporting taking from the raise of Baitullah Mehsud till the fall of Hakimullah Mehsud by a US drone .
But he admitted that he did not receive any direct threats on any of his coverage through these years, which other media organizations also followed up, the 38-year-old TV journalist said.
“Being TV journalist, it is very difficult to work in Peshawar,” he opines. “We are aware of the ground situation and that is why take extra care while reporting sensitive stories involving militancy or sectarian and ethnic violence.
Baghwan fears that if he continued to ignore these warnings. “People behind it … may get frustrated and move one step further to inflicting physical harm.”
A neighbour has volunteered to guard Baghwan. “This unpaid guard is only source of protection,” he pointed to a man armed with a semi-automatic Kalashnikov. The house, meanwhile, is unprotected. “Neither I have any guard at home nor close circuit TV cameras are installed,” he disappointedly said while shaking his head. “I have no support from any side.”