October 11, 2021
The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) rendered its strong condemnation of the murder of Metro1 News correspondent Shahid Zehri on the evening of Sunday, October 10.
Zehri was killed while in his vehicle near a police station in the town of Hub in Balochistan, some 20 kilometres west of Karachi. He was shifted to the nearby Ghulam Khan Hospital and then later shifted to the Dr. Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital in Karachi where he was pronounced dead.
Police believe the explosion had been caused by a magnetic device planted underneath the driver’s seat of the victim’s vehicle, concentrating the full brunt of the blast at the seat’s occupant. The banned ethnic separatist Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) took responsibility for the attack late Sunday.
In a statement, PFUJ President Shahzada Zulfiqar and Secretary-General Nasir Zaidi while condemning this brutal act of targeting the killing of journalists called for immediate arrest of the culprits.
“It is criminal negligence by police and security forces,” they said.
The PFUJ urged the provincial and federal authorities to strictly deal with anti-media agents perpetrating crimes against peaceful journalists and to provide safety and security to Pakistan’s media community.
“Provincial and federal government failed to provide security to journalists and media workers which is alarming,” they said.
Zehri is the third journalist to be killed in Balochistan in the past 15 months. Anwar Jan Kethran, a reporter for the Naveed-e-Pakistan daily newspaper, was shot dead by two gunmen in the city of Barkhan in July 2020, after exposing local corruption. Abdul Wahid Raisani, a sub-editor with the Daily Azadi newspaper, was gunned down in unclear circumstances in Quetta in April 2021.
Prior to Zehri’s murder, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) observatory of killed journalists recorded two killings in Pakistan for 2021.
Ajay Lalwani, a local general news correspondent for the privately-owned Urdu language Daily Puchano, died a day after he was shot by unidentified persons in a car and two motorcycles at a barbershop in the Salehpat area of Sukkur on March 17.
Kashif Anwar Ansari, the correspondent for Urdu-language newspaper Daily Khabrain, was found dead in his home in the town of Vanike Tarar, Punjab, his throat slit on August 10.
On April 20, former chair of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority Absar Alam survived an attempted assassination when an unidentified person on a motorbike shot him while he was strolling in a park near his home in Islamabad.