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Journalists on the hit

23 June, 2006

The body of a tribal journalist, Hayatullah Khan missing for about seven months was found lying outside a village in Mirali in the restive North Waziristan tribal region on Friday last.

The younger brother of the slain journalist, Ihsanullah told the newsmen that in one of the meetings with local intelligence operatives and government officials on May 15, he had been assured that the family would hear something about him on or about June 15.

He blamed an intelligence agency for the murder and vowed to avenge his brother`s death.

His family suspected that he had been picked up by an intelligence agency after he first released pictures of parts of US missiles that had killed senior Al Qaeda operative Hamza Rabia in North Waziristan on December 1, 2005.

The pictures proving US involvement in the missile attack flew in the face of claims that the Al Qaeda operative had been killed in a blast inside a house. Recently, government officials, including the Political Agent of North Waziristan, told his family members that he was probably in US custody at Bagram Air base near Kabul.

Amid an intense protest by the journalists organisations, the Supreme Court has taken suo motu notice of the murder of Hayatullah Khan.

It was the death of the second journalist within a week. Riaz Sangi, a cameraman of a private TV channel was shot dead by "unknown" person while he was covering a tribal clash in Larkana one and a half weeks ago.

The family members of the deceased , and the journalists union blame Sindh Minister Altaf Hussein Unar for the murder.

Mukaish Rupata, a scribe of a national English daily and a TV channel in Jaccobabad has also been in custody of security agencies for last three months on the charges best known to the authorities.

Various journalists in the interior of Sindh have been issued life threats by local influential people during last one month.

Here are some questions
1) Who could be behind the cold-blooded murder of Hayatullah Khan?
2) Did government act adequately to recover the slain journalist who had been missing for last six months?
3) Could the pointation of US attack on a Pakistani village be a reason behind his killing?
4) Is there is a calculated campaign against freedom of press in Pakistan?
5) Should the Sindh Minister be included in the inquiry of the murder of slain cameraman in Larkana?

Reader Comments:

The Deviants

Enemies of truth are behind the killing of Hayatullah Khan. Hypocrites and deviants have commercialised the sovereignity of Pakistan and Hayatullah Khan's murder serves a warning and a lesson to those who fail to toe the official hypocrites policies consisting of lies and deceits. Where sovereignity and dignity of a entire nation is a non-issue, calculated campaign against freedom of press is a very trivial issue. They plot and Allah plots and the best of the plots are the plots plotted by Allah Swt.

Waqar Malik, Pakistan - 26 June, 2006

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