Friday, Nov 21, 2014

US condemns attack on Pakistani journalist

hamid-mir-medium Saudi militant Osama bin Laden (L) sits with Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir during an interview, (Reuters File image)
Press Trust of India | Washington | Posted: April 20, 2014 8:32 am | Updated: April 20, 2014 8:49 am

The United States has condemned attack on Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir in Karachi and urged Islamabad to bring those responsible for the attacks on the media to justice.

“The United States condemns the vicious attack on television journalist Hamid Mir in Karachi on Saturday, the latest in a series of worrisome attacks on journalists in Pakistan,” the State Department Spokesperson, Jen Psaki said on Saturday.

Senior Pakistan journalist Hamid Mir shot at in Karachi

“Freedom of the press, including ensuring that journalists can safely carry out their vital mission, is of paramount importance to freedom of expression and to the healthy functioning of any democracy,” she said.

Hamid Mir, who faced threats from multiple quarters in Pakistan including the Taliban, was yesterday shot at in Karachi by four unidentified gunmen who waylaid his vehicle near Natha Khan bridge soon after he left the Karachi airport and was on his way to the studios of Geo TV.

As the US Ambassador to Pakistan, Richard Olson has said that attacks like these should be a wake-up call to all who value democracy in Pakistan, she said.

“We wish Hamid Mir a speedy recovery, and urge the government of Pakistan to bring all those responsible for these attacks on the media to justice,” Psaki said.

In a statement, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said that it is alarmed by the continuing violence directed at journalists in Pakistan.

“The attack on Hamid Mir is an indicator that the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has not been able to reverse the country’s appalling record of violence against journalists, despite pledges to do so,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator.

“Full prosecution of the perpetrators of such crimes is the only answer to reversing this history. Police must act swiftly and decisively in this and all cases that have been building up for years in Pakistan. And the country’s media must use their capabilities to pursue their own investigations, as well as pressure the government to take action,” Dietz said.

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