Freedom Network was relieved at unhurt escape of Daily Times columnist Dr Saulat Nagi who had attempted bid on his life when two unidentified men opened fire at him at his residence in Model Town, Gujranwala district of Punjab province on Monday night (17 February 2014).
“It is a matter of relief no harm has come to the columnist, but it is a serious matter of concern that tolerance for other opinion or respect to freedom of expression is losing ground in Pakistan,” Freedom Network [FN], Pakistan’s first media watchdog organization monitoring freedom of press and freedom of expression, said on Friday (21 February 2014)
Seven bullets were fired, which fortunately missed the target, Daily Times reported on Thursday (20 February 2014).
““I don’t know who they are and I have no enmity with anyone. My columns, books and other work might have created problems for some persons, who could be behind this incident,” the writer told Daily Times.
FN demanded full investigation into the attempted assassination of the columnist to prosecute the perpetrators of the crime. The issue of impunity of crimes against media and working journalists has earned Pakistan a bad name.
Nagi is a renowned journalist and a prominent columnist, writer and medical practitioner having no enmity or dispute with anyone, the newspaper said. Model Town police have registered a case against two unidentified persons on the complaint of Dr Nagi, with no arrest made so far.
Dr Saulat Nagi is author of seven books.
He was present at his Model Town residence along with his two friends when two unidentified armed men entered his house at around 8:30pm, put a gun on Dr Nagi’s head and threatened him over some issue. Later, the men managed to escape from the scene after fired seven shots inside and outside the house.
The incident sparked panic among the family members and locals of the area, who immediately gathered at the crime scene after knowing about the incident. They also informed the police about the incident and inquired about the firing incident.
Dr Saulat Nagi told Daily Times said that he lives in Australia and usually visits Pakistan after four or five months.
The columnist said that he was now in Pakistan to look after his ailing mother.
He said that the incident worried his family as well, who now wanted him to return to Australia, “but I can’t do that due to my mother’s serious illness”.