ISLAMABAD: The South Asia Media Commission (SAMC) on Saturday expressed concern over a ‘robbery’ at the house of Sirmed Manzoor, a senior journalist and chief coordinator of South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA).
Some men reportedly entered Manzoor’s house — in the posh F-11 sector — through a window late Friday night and stole three passports belonging to his wife, daughter and him, along with other papers and documents.
They also took away three laptops, an Ipad, hard disk drives, a TV and gold jewellery.
“It is not a plain and simple robbery,” said Manzoor. “I suspect some agency is involved in it and my suspicion is based on the fact that they took away our data and travelling documents which could be of no use to anyone.”
He told SAMC that another man had tried to enter his house from the back earlier on Wednesday as well, but left immediately on being discovered.
“My daughter and maids are being harassed and the government has given me no formal security despite many requests,” he said, adding, “I want a formal investigation into the matter.”
SAMC Secretary General Najam Sethi has asked Interior Minister Rehman Malik to investigate into the incident and “unmask the hidden hands”.
“The culture of arbitrary action of these ‘hidden hands’ is very old and obnoxious, because [no regime in the past has been able to] hold them accountable, which is very frustratating,” Sethi remarked.
“But,” he continued, “We hope that democratic governments would make some efforts to at least control the unlimited and unaccountable powers of these agencies.”
Sethi also asked the interior ministry to provide protection to the journalist’s family.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 10th, 2010.