Attack on Express: Journalists give govt 72-hour ultimatum to arrest culprits

Published: December 3, 2013
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A view of shattered wind shield of a vehicle in the attack on the Express Media Group’s offices in Karachi on December 2, 2013. PHOTO: ATHAR/EXPRESS

A view of shattered wind shield of a vehicle in the attack on the Express Media Group’s offices in Karachi on December 2, 2013. PHOTO: ATHAR/EXPRESS

LAHORE / KARACHI: In response to yesterday’s attack on the offices of the Express Media Group in Karachi, journalists boycotted the Punjab Assembly, Express News reported on Tuesday.

Giving the government an ultimatum, they demanded that those responsible for the attack should be arrested within the next 72 hours. They added that if they were not caught in the given period of time, journalists would hold country-wide rallies.

On Monday, at least four armed assailants riding motorbikes threw two home-made bombs and had indiscriminate fired at the entrance to the building. A security guard, Faizan Ali, was injured as a result.

The journalists’ community strongly condemned the attack, terming it an act of terror.

The press gallery leader said “we condemn this attack and we will show people that the media is not a soft target.”

The leader of the press club, Arshad Ansari, said that ‘condemn’ is not a strong enough word. Addressing political leaders, he asked where the people responsible for the earlier attack on the Express Media Group are, adding that “in the country’s history, this is the first grenade attack on the press.”

“We will not leave this place until the responsible parties are not brought forward,” Ansari stated.

Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) leader said that if the men who attacked the Express Media Group offices are not brought to justice within the next 72 hours, country-wide protests and rallies will be held.

The earlier attack on the same building on August 16 had left two staff members injured.

Karachi protest

Members of the media community gathered outside the Karachi Press Club to protest the attack on Express Media Group office in the city.

A few politicians also attended the demonstration.

Condemning the attack

Alliance for Access strongly condemned the attack on the Express Media Group office in Karachi.

Alliance for Access is a nationwide coalition of civil society organizations, corporations, media houses, telecommunication companies, academics, and student groups to promote open access in Pakistan,

“We are appalled and disappointed by the lack of security provided to the Express group office in Karachi, despite being under constant threat,” a press release by the coalition stated.

According to the Committee for Protection of Journalists, over 24 journalists were targeted & killed for their work in Pakistan. Pakistan is on the 8th spot in the CPJ’s 2013 Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where journalists are murdered regularly and killers go free.

Leaders and politicians of all major parties and members of the journalist community unanimously condemned the attack.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid had said in a statement that those involved in this heinous crime would be punished.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan had said in a statement that “we demand an immediate inquiry of the incident,” adding that the government should provide security to journalists and media houses.

Exclusively speaking to Express News, chief of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Altaf Hussain had denounced the attack. He had said that it was targeted because its newspapers and channel conduct impartial reporting, unlike other media groups.

Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel of the Awami National Party had also slammed the incident and urged the government to make security arrangements for the working journalists.

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Reader Comments (18)

  • Silent
    Dec 3, 2013 - 1:03PM

    some people were saying that it was done a political party with a militant wing who want to distract the ongoing operation in karachi agaisnt terrorists & millitants. Again NAMALOOM AFRAAD

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  • Dec 3, 2013 - 3:14PM

    Now everything will be blamed on MQMRecommend

  • Karachiite
    Dec 3, 2013 - 3:55PM

    You should not even post anti india or anti hindu comments let alone articles, Altaf bhai gets angryRecommend

  • AgendaWatch
    Dec 3, 2013 - 4:29PM

    This is what happens when media works under political agenda

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  • Khan
    Dec 3, 2013 - 4:31PM

    who desperately wants to see “Man ka Mohan” and who loves TTP we all know that

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  • saleena
    Dec 3, 2013 - 5:19PM

    political party with a militant wing
    simply MQM

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  • Haris Chaudhry
    Dec 3, 2013 - 5:30PM

    Get a grip ET team – Don’t be sissies !
    A couple of blasts with 1 guard injured and your whole paper is filled with non stop bleating !

    This is normal in modern-day-Islamic-republic. You are all acting like a bunch of cry-babies with the slightest intimidation.

    The whole country is on fire. Just get on with it and dont make a big deal out of “Oh My God, how on earth us mortals are getting targeted” attitude.

    No one is safe – Stop crying..

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  • CommonSense
    Dec 3, 2013 - 6:17PM

    OBESITY
    Please Show us some magic. You are the only hope for peace in Karachi.

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  • unbelievable
    Dec 3, 2013 - 6:25PM

    I doubt the govt will make significant effort to capture these thugs and don’t believe that ET will keep this on the front page for more than a few days – both have short attention spans.

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  • jamshed
    Dec 3, 2013 - 6:50PM

    It happens when media works for hidden agenda

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  • saeed
    Dec 3, 2013 - 6:58PM

    ET where is the news of NADRA chairman’s firing by PML N…

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  • piddler
    Dec 3, 2013 - 7:00PM

    Overheard on the street.. Arrest mubashir L and all will be peaceful.

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  • Last Word
    Dec 3, 2013 - 7:54PM

    The vibrant media especially one like ET should not be throttled and culprits need to be brought to book immediately as rightly demanded by the brave journalists of the Express news.

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  • Insaan
    Dec 3, 2013 - 8:31PM

    @jamshed: Some one should expose the so called “hidden agenda” and punish the newspaper. Attacking people indiscriminately like cowards is not the answer.

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  • powvow
    Dec 3, 2013 - 8:57PM

    @karachite – “You should not even post anti india or anti hindu comments let alone articles, Altaf bhai gets angry”

    Altaf bhai is probably the only reasonable person out there who sees things for what they are… He recognizes that most of the problems in Pakistan are self-made, and there’s no point in blaming India and Hindus…

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  • csmann
    Dec 3, 2013 - 9:00PM

    TTP won’t take any criticism of IK/PTI lightly.

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  • Ariba
    Dec 3, 2013 - 9:37PM

    Can they give ultimatum for those who keep on killing Shias?

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  • Dec 3, 2013 - 9:56PM

    @Haris Chaudhry:

    Is this your advice to every victim in Pak whose suffered from the constant onslaught? Don’t make a fuss or big deal about being shot at or grenades thrown at you? Because its just so unsurprising and common to have someone targeted, even someone you know, that no outcry is worth it and one must simply bear the ‘intimidation’? This is exactly the attitude that has allowed things to deteriorate inhumanely and unchallenged further in modern day Pak.

    Just sad how anyone internalizes and considers this ‘normal’, which would be abnormal in any other civil society, accepting their fate and taking solace that ‘no one is safe’. One hopes others would consider this serious and have a sense of urgency to curb some crime, or at the very least condemn it. Reminds me of an account by a Singaporean temp worker in Karachi who wrote about Karachites’ surreal apathy in the Dawn newspaper after an Ashur bomb blast in 2007/8. He never ever wanted to be at that level of walking dead inside.

    ET, being affected directly and with an outlet at their disposal to voice their outrage, should absolutely utilize and maximize it to raise concerns as much and as far as they can.

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