Unidentified people assault renowned journalist & TV host in Lahore

By Our Staff Reporter

Lahore: Pakistan continues to be one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalist. Over sixty journalists have been killed in Pakistan since 1992. Hundreds of journalists were assaulted during this period. Latest in the line of fire happens to be Iqrar-ul-Hassan, renowned talk show host who was thrashed and assaulted in Lahore Today.

Iqrar took to Twitter in the afternoon on Saturday breaking the news about assault on him by “unknown individuals” who were later on identified and arrested by the police.

According to Iqrar, assailant resorted to aerial firing before fleeing from the scene. It all happened in Lahore’s Defence Housing Authority (DHA), police said.

Taking to Twitter, Hassan shared pictures of himself with a blood stain on his face and said the assailants fled while firing.

“Attack by ‘namaloom afraad’ in front of a police station at Lahore’s K block, DHA. They fled while firing,” he wrote. He didn’t give more detail in this regards.

Assailants under police custody

News of assault on Iqrar spread like ‘fire in the jungle’ with thousands of Iqrar’s fans reacting sharply to what happened to their favorite TV host. Journalists community immediately jumped in piling pressure on the police high-ups to take action.

Police teams were constituted to identify the assailants with modern technology which didn’t disappoint their high ups this time.

Police arrested a few people allegedly involved in assaulting Iqrar.

Later on, Punjab chief minister’s focal person for digital media, Azhar Mashwani, confirmed on Twitter that seven individuals had been arrested in connection with the incident.

“Police is investigating the matter and further action will be taken accordingly,” he wrote.

Late at night on Saturday, a senior police officer confirmed that the suspects were on their way to a wedding ceremony and opened fire on Hassan for “making a video”.

Attack on journalists is not new phenomenon. Earlier this month, gunmen shot dead a local journalist in Dera Ismail khan, a remote district in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtoonkhaw.

Gunmen sprayed bullet at Qais Javed as he was about to enter premises of his house late at night on Monday, police said. Deceased was one of the prominent local journalists working for a local newspaper.

According to police complaint, Qais Javed, the deceased had entered his house and was in his front yard when unidentified persons on a motorcycle opened fire. The assailants escaped the scene immediately after, it added.

District police officer confirmed the incident to Islamabad telegraph saying the killers will be arrested soon.

“The official said the FIR had been registered [against suspects]. Police is investigating the case,” DPO said.

However, no arrests had been made so far. Police told media that Investigations were underway to determine the motive behind the killing.

Pakistan continues to be one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists. 61 journalists have been killed in Pakistan since 1992.

Also, The Pakistan Press Freedom Report 2019-20, titled “Murders, harassment and assault: The tough wages of journalism in Pakistan”, said in May this year that journalists in Pakistan continued to face threats

As many as 31 of the 91 cases reported between May last year and April this year were reported in Islamabad, followed by 24 cases in Sindh, 20 in Punjab, 13 in Khyber Pakhtoonkhaw and only three in Baluchistan.

The report launched by the Free­d­­om Network — a media rights watchdog — cited 91 violent incidents, including seven murders of journalists and a blogger, and attacks and other offences against media and its practitioners.

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