TTP claims of killing journalist false: police

Says they have apprehended the man who pulled the trigger

Our Correspondent October 26, 2017
Says they have apprehended the man who pulled the trigger. PHOTO: EXPRESS

PESHAWAR: A journalist, who was gunned down outside his house earlier this month, was not killed by terrorists, despite claims from terror groups.

After Haroon Khan was gunned down in Swabi, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had claimed responsibility for the gun attack. The claim spread fear and panic among locals that terror had returned to the area.

Taliban claim responsibility for journalist gunned down in Swabi

However, a police probe into the murder shows that it was perpetrated by locals over a long-standing property dispute between two families.

“All the evidence and the confessions of those arrested, show that there were no fingerprints of terrorism in the incident,” Swabi DPO Sohaib Ashraf told The Express Tribune, explaining that the modus operandi of target killers affiliated with terror outfits was quite different to the way this particular attack was carried out.

“The weapons [used], which we have recovered, is an AK-47. Target killers only use 9mm pistols,” he said, adding that Haroon was shot eight times all over the body. By contrast, target killers only fire a maximum of three shots to the head or the chest. “Terror outfits usually function during the day, the timing suits them while they will hardly ever target anyone in a blocked alley,” he further explained.

“Terrorists make sure they have an escape route which suggests maximum impact in the least possible time.”

Haroon’s murder, which took place on October 12, attracted condemnation from journalist bodies around the world.

On Tuesday, the Swabi police had arrested Jawad Khan after receiving a tip-off. Jawad is a student at the Hazara University and is the son of the slain journalist’s step-brother.

“He confessed during the investigation that he and his brother were involved in the killing,” DPO Ashraf said.

HRCP expresses concern over journalist’s killing, death threats

“I was riding with Fawad on the bike and started firing on our uncle Haroon, with whom we had a land dispute for a long time, and killed him on the spot,” police quoted Jawad’s alleged confession in a statement.

Officials added that they have raided several places to arrest Haroon’s step-brother Muhammad Ali. However, he is on the run and dodged police who made several attempts to arrest him, Swabi DSP Izhar Shah said.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 26th, 2017.


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