IFJ Mourns Two Journalists Killed In Pakistan Attack


The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is alarmed at spiralling violence across Pakistan

which sees media personnel killed while reporting from the country’s

lesser-known conflict zones, with news of two television journalists killed in

a suicide bombing in the country’s north-west tribal area on December 6.


Abdul Wahab, of Express News, and

Pervez Khan, of WAQT TV, were among 50 people at a government building in

Ghalanai, Mohmand Agency, in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in the

country’s north-west who were killed in the double blast. The purported leader

of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan

claimed responsibility, Pakistan’s

Daily Times reported.


Another 100 people, including

journalist Mohab Ali Mohmand, were injured in the attack in which two suicide

bombers disguised as policemen targeted a tribal meeting of a peace committee

of Alizai and Safi

tribes at the office of Roshan Khan Mehsud, the Daily Times reported. The meeting was called to devise a strategy

against terrorism in the tribal region.


Wahab and Khan were preparing a

report on the plight of displaced people at the time of the attack, according

to Mohmand Press Club President Shakirullah Jan.


“The IFJ condemns this attack in the

strongest possible terms – too often, extreme violence is claiming the lives of

working journalists in Pakistan,”

IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline

Park said.


“The IFJ sends its condolences to

the families and colleagues of Abdul Wahab and Pervez Khan, whose deaths are

another horrific loss to Pakistan’s

media community, coming only one day after the murder of journalist Altaf

Chandio in Sindh province on December 5.”


According to IFJ affiliate the

Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), the attack killed and

injured tribal elders, policemen, political officials and other civilians. The

media casualties are the first in Mohmand Agency’s ongoing conflict, the PFUJ



The IFJ joins with the PFUJ in

calling for employers to take responsibility for ensuring their personnel are

trained and equipped for working in Pakistan’s many volatile and

dangerous situations. Employers must provide adequate safety training and

equipment, life insurance schemes and assistance to families.


Wahab, aged in his mid-30s and from Dara Village

in Haleemzai Tehsil of the Mohmand Agency had worked as a journalist for more

than a decade and had also served as General Secretary of the Ghalanai Press Club.

He leaves two daughters and a wife.


Khan, aged about 28, was from Mula

Mandi area in Haleemzai Tehsil and leaves behind four children and a wife.


Wahab and Khan were irregular

employees, paid meagre wages that could barely sustain their families.


The IFJ supports the PFUJ’s demand

that the country’s parliamentarians immediately devise a Media

Practitioners' Protection and Media Managers Responsibilities' Act to help

protect the lives of media personnel.


The PFUJ will observe three days of

mourning, with the hoisting of black flags and condolence meetings planned for

press clubs, offices of local affiliated unions of journalists and at news

centres throughout the country.


Pakistan is one of the most

dangerous countries for journalists, with 14 journalists and media workers

killed in the course of their work in 2010, including this week’s deaths.


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919



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