Pakistan Media Mapping – January 2014
Jan 01: A TV journalist dies of bullet wounds
Aab Takk bureau chief Shan Odho succumbed to his bullet wounds at a government hospital in Larkana district of Sindh province after he received bullet on December 31. 2013. TV Reporter Shan Odho dies of bullet wounds he received on Dec 31. His channel says he was working on spurious drugs story. Police have not yet determined whether he was target-killed or a stray bullet just hit him.
Jan 01: TV reporter is granted bail by a high court
Justice Mussarat Hillali of Peshawar High Court ordered release of TV reporter Farhan Bangash on bail after taking up his bail application moved by the journalist’s lawyer. Farhan Bangash, working for Royal TV as correspondent in Kohat district of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, was charged by local police under anti-terrorism law for his alleged involvement in sectarian clashes taken place in Kohat city on November 18 last year and he was arrested two days later. The journalist denies the allegation. Royal TV, according to Farhan, did not meet expenses he incurred on engaging lawyer for getting bail and fighting the legal case. He was released from Kohat prison on January 4.
Jan 12: Charsadda reporter hurled death threat
Noor Wahab, working with Urdu-language daily Express, was threatened with death threats for reporting sexual attack on girl in Charsadda district. His report brought pressure on the accused who phoned the journalist with Afghan mobile number +93784602701. “I am under death threat since January 12 following the publication of the girl story on January 11,” Noorul Wahab, who works for Daily Express newspaper in Charsadda district, told Freedom Network [FN] on January 13, 2014. Local police registered a case against unknown callers. However, no arrest was made till the filing of this media mapping report.
Jan 17: Three staffers of TV channel target-killed in Karachi
Three media assistants working with Express News TV channel were sprayed with bullets in their DSNG (digital satellite news gathering) van in port city Karachi. The media assistants include driver Khalid, technician Waqas and security guard Ashraf. Express Tribune reported that “the three victims were shot multiple times from close range. They died due to excessive bleeding.” It was the third attack targeting Express News channel which is reporting stories on minority sects in Pakistan extensively. No arrests have been made yet.
Jan 17: TTP claims responsibility for the attack
Banned militant organization Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack on Express News van in Karachi leaving three media assistants killed when his phone call to the office was aired live.
Jan 18: Ministerial body set up to look into threats to media
At last, the federal government awoke to alarming security environment in which the media houses and journalists are working with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif setting up two-member ministerial committee, including Interior Minister Ch. Nisar Ali Khan and Information Minister Pervez Rasheed, to look into security challenges Pakistani media is facing. It is the first such step the federal government has taken after attacks on media houses and working journalists have stepped up.
Jan 18: Bid to kidnap foreign reporter foiled
Al-Jazeera reporter in Islamabad Ahmed Muafiq Zahidaan says he foiled a bid to kidnap him when some armed men forcefully broke into his house in Islamabad. He survived the bid by forcing one of the would-be kidnapper out of his room and calling police and friends.
Jan 25: Ruling in Wali Khan Babar murder case
A court in Shikarpur district in Sindh province reserved order in Geo News channel’s reporter Wali Khan Babar’s murder case as to where the murder trial will proceed.
Jan 25: Top judge seeks fast investigation into attack on Express News van
Chief Justice Maqbool Baqir of Sindh High Court ordered Karachi police to speed up probe into attack on Express News van leaving three media assistants killed On Jan 17.
Jan 27: No security for Malala book launch ceremony
Northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government withdrew security from launch of blogger Malala Yousafzai’s book ‘I Am Malala’ in Peshawar arguing the organizers are using the occasion to score “political points.” The organizers rejects the accusation and calls the move as “violation of fundamental right.”
Jan 31: Sectarian group hurls death threat at Geo News channel’s producer
Ansar Naqvi, working as controller news with Geo News channel in Karachi, was threatened during a protest rally of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jumaat (ASWJ) for reason that the controller news did not air the organization’s news. The controller news says he aired its news as “breaking tickers.”