PAKISTAN: Newsmen hold protest meeting: Mansehra reporter's murder

Newsman called for the arrest of Khalid Javid Khan who is the accused murderer of Jajid Tanoli, a journalist for the daily Shamal of Abbottabad

Saturday, January 31, 2004

By Musaddiq Ali

Associations of newsmen all over the district held a protest meeting at the Mansehra Press Club on Friday to press their demand for arrest of Khalid Javid Khan , Nazim of union council Mansehra city No. 3, for allegedly killing Sajid Tanoli, a reporter of daily Shamal of Abbottabad here on Thursday.

The meeting constituted an action committee for taking up the matter with police and local administration and to keep journalists' associations in the country informed about developments. They condemned local police for not arresting the accused even after the expiry of the 24-hour deadline set by them on Thursday.

Zamir Javid Yousafzai, president of Mansehra Press Club, and Abdul Ghaffar Khan Mohmand of Online, however, expressed reservations about the way the incident had been reported. They said that it should first be ascertained who had appointed Sajid Tanoli, as a reporter of daily Shamal, about two months ago and what were the motives behind publication of 'controversial and libelous' reports that led to the incident.

They said that senior journalists of Mansehra had been sending stories to their newspapers exposing corruption and misdeeds of important people, none of whom had been infuriated to the extent of killing a journalist.

Syed Ejaz Mashdi of daily Mashriq, however, pointed out that Sajid Tanoli was a bona fide journalist and that his murder would be 'avenged'. He said journalists must not stop their protest till the arrest of Khalid Javid Khan and should rather make it a countrywide movement.

The district Nazim, Syed Ahmad Hussain Shah, also attended the meeting and expressed solidarity with journalists. He assured the meeting that all efforts would be made to nab Khalid Javid Khan. He announced a reward of Rs 20,000 for any person providing information leading to the arrest of Khalid Javid.

He urged the newsmen who were accompanying the deceased at the time of the murder to come forward as eye-witnesses. Sajid Shahzad of The Nation asked the district Nazim to provide security to people who could become eye-witnesses.

The Nazim assured the meeting that the district government would protect all eye-witnesses.