Gunmen riding a motorcycle shot and killed journalist Hafiz-ur-Rehman in Kohat city on Sunday – 22 November 2015 – becoming the second casualty this month after Taliban murdered tribal journalist Zaman Mehsud in similar fashion.
According to local journalists, the family of deceased journalist filed First Information Report in a local police station against unknown people, and this makes prosecution extremely difficult under the Pakistani legal justice system, according to legal experts.
“Rehman is the second journalist killed in November and killers, as usually, go scot-free. This trend seems to continue despite outcries nationally and globally to press the government of Pakistan on fighting impunity of crimes against journalists and media houses,” Freedom Network [FN], Pakistan’s first media watchdog organization, said Monday (23 November 2015) in press freedom alert.
The organization said it looked extremely difficult now to get the killers brought to justice as the family of the deceased journalist lodged the FIR against unnamed attackers.
“We may not know why Rehman was killed if the attackers are not arrested and situation like this will help deep-rooted culture of impunity to stay in Pakistan,” FN press freedom alert went on to add.
Hafiz-ur-Rehman, who run a cable network, owned a weekly newspaper and worked for newly-launched Neo TV channel from Kohat district, is the second journalist murdered in November in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Local police official Fazal Naeem told local media-persons: “He was hit by three bullets and died on the spot.”
On November 3, tribal journalist Zaman Mehsud was shot dead in similar fashion in Tank district near South Waziristan tribal region, former stronghold of Taliban who claimed responsibility for murdering Zaman.
The motive behind the attack on Rehman is unclear as his brother Naeem (who goes by one name) lodged report against unknown people.
Local journalists said late Rehman had not previously reported any threats against him.
Taliban militants lately expressed anger at the lack of coverage given to them by the Pakistani media, following a boycott order by the country’s powerful military establishment since the attack on a school in Peshawar left more than 100 schoolchildren killed in December 2014.
The killing was the fifth attack on members of the media in the past three months.
A TV news technician and journalist were killed in separate incidents in the port city of Karachi in September, while a journalist was shot and injured in the northwestern city of Peshawar.