The International Press Institute (IPI) today urged a swift and comprehensive investigation into the death of Malik Mumtaz, a senior reporter working in Pakistan’s tribal areas.
Mumtaz was killed on Wednesday, Feb. 27 by gunmen in the city of Miranshah, capital of the tribal region of North Waziristan.
The journalist reported for Geo TV, as well as other Urdu and English speaking newspapers from the same media group. According to reports, he was elected president of the Miranshah Press Club.
The Pakistani Nation reported that Mumtaz died on the spot after unidentified armed men opened fire on his vehicle, while he was driving home. His body was brought to a nearby hospital for an autopsy.
So far no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack. Both the Pakistan Army and the outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) condemned Mumtaz’s killing.
The governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Engineer Shaukatullah Khan, said that “the murderers would no more remain at large and would be brought to justice”.
Pakistan’s tribal areas have been among the most dangerous places for journalists to work for many years and the authorities appear to have taken few steps to address this serious problem.
“The continued, pervasive impunity in all cases of violence against journalists is the single greatest reason for the numerous targeted killings against journalists in Pakistan that we have been reporting about in recent years,” IPI Press Freedom Manager Barbara Trionfi said.
The recent murder sparked an outcry across the country.
According to the Karachi-based News International, a protest rally was held under the aegis of the Khyber Union of Journalists (KhUJ), the Peshawar Press Club (PPC) and the Tribal Union of Journalists (TUJ) on Friday, Mar. 1.