Life threats force media men to go into hiding

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PESHAWAR – Peshawar based Afghan journalist Pir Rahamdil Shah disappeared in the wake of frequent threats to anonymous telephonic calls and letters from unknown persons.

A son of Pir Rahamdil Shah told journalists that his father became target of militants when he had assisted a journalist from Jalalabad a couple of years back. After getting the first threat, the family had left Afghanistan and again migrated into Peshawar. But, the son said, even at Peshawar some unknown persons had attacked their home on Warsak Road. However, due to timely help of the neighbours they remained safe.

As a result of frequent threats and warning of militants a large number of tribal and Afghan journalists and their families are facing sever problems due to frequent threats and attacks at hands of unknown militants. Most of the tribal journalists have abandoned their homes whereas the Afghan journalists are either giving up their professions or going underground as now continuation of profession has become harmful for their survival.

According to the latest data, around 98 journalists were killed mysteriously since 9/11 throughout Pakistan. Half of them belonged to Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and adjoining Federally Administrative Tribal Areas (FATA). A few of them also belonged to Afghanistan and were mysteriously shot dead in Peshawar and its surrounding areas.

Malik Mumtaz from Miranshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan, became the latest victim of target killing. The mysterious assassination of Malik Mumtaz has led to fuelling of unrest amongst the journalist community from all over Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and adjoining FATA.

Little before assassination of Malik Mumtaz, Afghan journalist Pir Rahamdil Shah had also abandoned his home in January last and had gone into hiding for security.

Source: The Nation

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Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) is an independent media research, documentation and training centre working to promote and defend freedom of press.. Follow us on Twitter / Facebook.

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