On October 27, 2017, Ahmad Noorani, an investigative journalist of the English-language daily “The News International” was assaulted by unidentified men in broad daylight at the busy intersection of Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan.
Noorani’s car was intercepted by six assailants riding on three motorbikes. They severely beat up Noorani and his driver with iron rods after throwing out the keys from the ignition. The attackers attempted to snatch Noorani’s mobile phone but failed. The attackers later escaped in motorcycles that did not have license plates.
Both men sustained injuries to their heads and necks with sharp objects but were conscious while they were shifted to the local Polyclinic Hospital by a passerby. The condition of the victims is now stable.
In a conversation with the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) a week earlier, Noorani had reported an attack at his house two months earlier which he felt was over his reporting of the trial for corruption of the ousted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family. He also deactivated his popular Twitter account on October 19 because of these threats. One of his stories on the report Joint Investigation Team investigating the corruption charges proved to be incorrect and he had to issue a retraction and an apology.
Journalists, media organizations, and politicians have condemned the attack on Noorani. Federal Interior Minister Muhammad Talal Chaudhry ordered the police to investigate the case including securing records of CCTV cameras of the area.
The Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalist and National Press Club (NPC) demonstrated against the attack on Noorani. NPC president Shakil Anjum said a committee will be formed to investigate the attack.