QUETTA: Three people including two journalists were killed in a firing incident in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province on Thursday evening.
The CJA condemns the shootings, which president Rita Payne described as “another outrage” among continued impunity for extremist attacks on journalists and media.
Unidentified armed militants barged into the office of the independent news agency, Online, and gunned down Irshad Mastoi, the Bureau Chief of the agency. Reporter Abdul Rasool Khajak and accountant Muhammad Younas were also killed by the militants.
Irshad Mastoi was working as bureau chief of Online news agency and assignment editor ARY News TV channel. He was also the general secretary of Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ) and was quite active in his field.
It is reported that all victims received multiple bullets. According to details, despite crowds and a high security zone the assailants managed to escape unhurt from the spot.
Police and Frontier Corps personnel reached the office and started an initial investigation into the incident.
The bodies of the victims were rushed to Civil Hospital in Quetta. A large number of journalists reached the hospital and chanted full-throated slogans against the cold- blooded murder of journalists.
Ehsan Ahmed Khan Sehar, President of Rural Media Networks Pakistan and a CJA member, has strongly condemned the incident and termed it an attack at freedom of expression.
Pakistan is ranked by rights groups and watchdogs as one of the the world’s most dangerous country for journalists and reporters. According to RMNP monitoring , seven journalists and five media workers lost their lives as of 28th August. Among the violence, usually inflicted with impunity, was the shooting deaths of one media worker and three journalists in two consecutive days.
photo credit: Nicolas Raymond via cc