ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Wednesday took notice of the assault on senior journalist Asad Kharal and directed inspector general of police in Punjab to submit a report on the incident in 24 hours.
Kharal, senior journalist and television anchorperson, was reportedly attacked by ‘masked men’ near Allama Iqbal International Airport in the wee hours of Wednesday.
Confirming the incident to The Express Tribune, Superintendent of Police (SP) Cantonment Bilal Zafar said, “We have received a complaint of an incident claiming Kharal was tortured by unidentified men.”
According to reports, Kharal was on his way home from the airport when his vehicle was intercepted. He was taken out of the car and assaulted. The journalist was moved to Lahore Services Hospital for treatment.
Some news reports claimed that Kharal, who had been highly critical of the previous government, was attacked by men affiliated with the former ruling party. However, Kharal is yet to blame anyone for the attack.
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Caretaker Law Minister Syed Ali Zafar condemned the attack on the senior journalist. “Freedom of expression is a basic constitutional right, and its protection is a constitutional responsibility,” he said in a statement.
The minister directed the authorities concerned to perform their constitutional responsibilities in this regard. He also prayed for Kharal’s early recovery.
Former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal also condemned the attack on Twitter. PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto said the assault was an attack on the freedom of expression.
Senior journalists also condemned the attack.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 7th, 2018.
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