Pakistan Government Must Order Full Inquiry Into Murder

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) demands that Pakistan’s

Government launch a swift and full inquiry into the murder of a veteran Afghan

journalist in Pakistan



Peshawar-based journalist Janullah

Hashimzada was shot dead by four unidentified gunmen in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas

(FATA) as he travelled from Afghanistan’s

Eastern Nangahar

Province to Peshawar, in Pakistan’s

North-West Frontier Province (NWFP).


The minivan in which he was

travelling was ambushed near Jamrud in the Khyber tribal district. Two

gunmen entered the van and shot Hashimzada four times, according to the

Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ),

an IFJ affiliate.


Another passenger and Afghan national, Ali,

suffered injuries and is reported to be in a serious condition.


The IFJ urgently calls on Pakistan’s

federal and provincial governments to order local authorities to conduct an

immediate and full investigation,

and to ensure the killers are brought to justice.


Local authorities should be warned

not to make the same mistake as in February,

when police failed to conduct a prompt inquiry into the murder of journalist

Mussa Khankel in the Swat



An independent inquiry by the PFUJ

into Khankel’s murder concluded that his killers could have been caught and

brought to justice had security forces acted quickly,

rather than delaying their inquiries until the PFUJ launched its own



“Pakistan’s highest authorities must take quick

action to overcome the failings of local authorities to properly investigate

previous murders of journalists in Pakistan,”

IFJ General Secretary Aidan White said.


“Murders and attacks against

journalists are being conducted with impunity. Pakistan’s Government must act

on its obligations under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1738 (2006)

to actively protect journalists and media workers working in war zones, in accordance with their status as civilians under

international law.”


While the motive for

killing Hashimzada remains unclear,

there are reports that the attack was intended to silence independent

journalists working in Pakistan’s

tribal and conflict zones.


As was the case with Khankel, Hashimzada’s reporting was said to have upset key

players in the region. Hashimzada was reported to have had good ties with

Pakistani officials and senior journalists in Peshawar,

and he was known to be critical of insurgents operating under the banner of the




one colleague said some of his reporting was not acceptable to the governments

of Afghanistan and Pakistan.



37, worked as a freelance journalist, mainly contributing to Pajhwok Afghan News and

Shamshad TV in Afghanistan, the Wahdat and Sahar Pashto language

newspapers published from the NWFP,

as well as Associated Press (AP) and Al-Arabia TV.


He also had been working with the

Afghan Independent Journalists’ Association (AIJA),

an IFJ affiliate, to set up an AIJA

regional office in Peshawar, in order to assist Afghan journalists and media

professionals working in Pakistan, as well as Pakistani journalists.


AIJA President Rahimullah Samander

said the death of Hashimzada was an enormous loss for the Afghan journalists’

community, and the association’s

offices in Afghanistan’s

eastern four provinces were investigating the murder.


The AIJA has called on Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to

intervene with counterparts in Pakistan

and request assurance of a full and immediate investigation. 


The PFUJ also strongly condemned the

murder. It questioned the Government’s indifference to attacks on media

personnel and urged it

to fulfil its constitutional obligation to provide safety and protection to

journalists and to bring their killers to justice.


In the case of Khankhel, a reporter for The News International and

GEO News, his bullet-riddled body

was found on February 18 after he went missing in the Swat Valley

that day.


The PFUJ conducted an investigation

into Khankhel’s murder after local authorities failed to initiate their own

inquiry. The PFUJ reported that a five-member police team headed by a

high-ranking official did not begin its investigation into the murder until

February 27, the day the PFUJ team

visited the valley. The area in which Khankhel’s body was recovered was not

cordoned off at the time and no search operation was conducted.


No one has been charged with

Khankhel’s murder.



with a return to relative peace in Swat in the past month,

the administration of the local police force is being reorganised, and the PFUJ and local journalists are

anticipating a full inquiry into the killing.


 For further information contact IFJ

Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919



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