VoA journalist assassinated in Charsadda
CHARSADDA: Mukarram Khan Atif, a senior tribal journalist and correspondent for the Voice of America and a private TV news channel, was assassinated by unidentified gunmen in a local mosque in the Shabqadar Tehsil of Charsadda district on Tuesday, police sources said.
The sources said Mukarram Khan, who was working for a radio and a private news channel in Mohmand Agency, was offering Maghrib prayers at a mosque in Karkay village of Shabqadar Tehsil when two unidentified motorcyclists entered the mosque and opened fire on him. Khan and the prayer leader Nasruminallah were left injured.
The 45-year-old journalist suffered critical wounds to his head and was shifted to the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar where he succumbed to his injuries. He left behind two widows. Following the incident, Shabqadar Deputy Superintendent of Police Zahir Shah reached the area and said the motive behind the killing could not be ascertained.
Our Peshawar Bureau adds: The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for killing Mukarram Khan Atif.
TTP spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan called The News from an undisclosed location and said they killed the journalist because he had refused to give coverage to the Taliban in the Pashto language Deewa Radio with which he was associated. He claimed they had advised the slain journalist repeatedly not to become a party while covering issues related to the Taliban. The spokesman said Mukarram had been on their hit list and they finally eliminated him. He warned that other journalists were also on the hit list of the TTP and would be killed soon.
Meanwhile, Tribal Union of Journalists president, Safdar Hayat Dawar, announced three-day mourning and decided to stage a sit-in outside the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor’s House tomorrow (Thursday) against the killing of Mukarram Khan Atif.
APP adds from Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and Minister for Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan have condemned the death of tribal journalist Mukarram Khan Atif.
In separate condolence massages, they expressed sympathy with the bereaved family and prayed that God rest the departed soul in eternal peace.