QUETTA: Slain journalist Wali Khan Babar was laid to rest in his hometown Zhob on Friday amid protests and condemnation.
The body of the young journalist was first brought to Quetta before it was shifted to Zhob in an ambulance.
A demonstration condemning the murder was organised by the Balochistan Union of Journalists and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PMAP) on the Airport Road, disrupting traffic for hours.
Scores of protesters, including journalists, accused the government of “shielding professional killers” in Karachi.
Accusing the government of patronising the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), protesters said that the Karachi-based political party was resorting to “ethic cleansing of Pakhtuns, Baloch, Sindhis and the Punjabis”, adding that none of the perpetrators of such blatant targeted killings had ever been arrested or punished.
Journalists also held a protest demonstration in Gwadar and Zhob districts demanding the arrest of the culprits.
Meanwhile, the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) has condemned the killing Wali Khan and termed him a ‘Martyr of Journalism’.
The CPNE demanded that the government form an independent judicial commission to investigate the incident and award exemplary punishment to the killers, according to a statement issued by the council after a meeting.
The CPNE also called on the government, political parties and civil society to condemn the killing of Babar, threats to journalists and steps against editors, and at the same time ensure their unconditional support for freedom of the media.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 15th, 2011.