Pakistani journalist gunned down

Islamabad, Sep 9 (IANS) A senior journalist was gunned down on Wednesday in Karachi, the second killing of a media person within a day in the Pakistani port city, police said.

Aftab Alam — who had previously worked with Geo News, and was also associated with Samaa TV — was shot by unidentified assailants near his home in Sector 11-C area of north Karachi, Dawn online reported.

Geo News said Alam was leaving home to pick up his children from school. He was unemployed since a year due to health issues.

The 42-year-old journalist was shot in the head in the shooting near Sir Syed market.

Alam was rushed to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where doctors declared him dead. Doctors said the journalist received a bullet wound in the face.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Feroz Shah said that, according to initial reports, the incident appeared to have been pre-planned as two gunmen riding a motorcycle fired a single shot which hit Alam in the head, a signature method used by target killers.

He said three bullet casings were recovered from the site.

Alam was shot a day after engineer Arshad Ali Jafri, who was also associated with Geo News, was gunned down in an attack on the channel’s van in Karachi’s Bahadurabad area.

Police were still clueless about the motive of Tuesday’s attack, but investigators said they were sure it was a murder attempt.

Geo News called it a “targeted attack” and said the assault apparently was meant to harass not only the channel’s staff but also the entire Pakistani media.

The Karachi Union of Journalists said Alam’s killing posed a question mark over the efficiency of the government and security agencies.

The union demanded the immediate arrest of the killers of both Alam and Jafri.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah directed police to submit a report on Wednesday’s killing, and ordered the immediate arrest of those behind the attack.

Sindh Interior Minister Suhail Anwar Siyal demanded a report on the attack from Inspector General of Police Ghulam Haider Jamali.

Siyal said such attacks cannot stop the war against terrorism in the province.

Former Pakistan president and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, and leaders of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) condemned the attack.

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