Authorities yet to trace killers of 46 Pak scribes
ISLAMABAD With Wali Khan Babar, the latest casualty from the country’s media community, as many as 47 journalists have been killed in Pakistan during the past 17 years, but not a single murder case has been resolved with only one exception, that of US journalist Daniel Pearl, whose assassins were brought to justice under intense American pressure.
In none of the cases, even the charge sheet was sent to the court regarding murder of a journalist, let alone carrying out prosecution.
In the case of Hayatullah Khan who was murdered in June 2006 after a six-month captivity, though no criminal investigation took place, a judicial commission led by Peshawar High Court’s Justice Raza Khan conducted fact-finding, but report was never made public.
The first and last in the list of journalists killed during this period (1994-2011) were Karachi-based journalists: Muhammad Salahuddin, editor of a weekly magazine Takbeer, and Wali Khan Babar, Geo’s reporter.
Incidentally, the former who was very critical political writer with alignment towards Jamaat-e-Islami, was murdered by unknown gunmen on December 4, 1994 outside his office when army operation was underway in Karachi.
The latter, a Pashtun by ethnicity, has been shot dead when another operation, was in progress in Pehlawan Goth.
A majority of the slain Pakistani journalists, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), were covering politics, mostly of violent nature, be it in Karachi, Quetta, tribal areas or elsewhere. Again, Salahuddin and Wali Babar were also into the political reporting.