Journalist gunned down in Balochistan

Abdul Haq Baloch, correspondent for “ARY News” television station and Secretary of Khuzdar Press Club, was gunned down by unidentified armed men on September 29, 2012 when he was on his way home in the town of Khuzdar in the militancy plagued of Balochistan province of Pakistan. He left behind a widow and two sons.

According to the press reports, unidentified masked armed men, riding a motorbike, sprayed a volley of bullets on Baloch and fled the scene. Baloch died on the spot.

Journalists in Khuzdar said it is difficult to guess who may be behind the murder as there are a number of opposing militant groups in Khuzdar areas, some support separatists while other are opposed to them. Essa Tareen, president of the Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ) told PPF that two days ago the separatist group Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) had warned, in a telephonic message, all leading newspaper offices of Balochistan to give coverage to its activities or face dire consequences. However, the BLA today denied it was behind the murder of the Abdul Haq Baloch.

Tareen urged the separatist organizations not to kill the journalists but get resolved their grievances through dialogue.

Journalists of Balochistan staged a protest demonstration in front of Quetta Press Club. Journalists in Khuzdar locked the gate to the Khuzdar Press Club and suspended all activities to protest the murder of their colleague. Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) strongly condemned the murder and demanded the formation of a high-level investigation team and arrest of killers.

Two former presidents of the Khuzdar Press Club (Mohammad Khan Sasoli and Faiz Mohammad Sasoli) have been killed in recent years as was the Press Club’s senior member Munir Shakir.

Pakistan Press Foundation

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