KARACHI: Unidentified armed men set fire to the office of the WorldCall cable distribution service here on Saturday evening, witnesses said. No one was reported hurt in the incident.
According to initial reports, four men stormed the office – located near Do Talwar in Karachi’s Clifton locality – moments before iftar. Witnesses said the gunmen forced employees at the office outside and then set fire to the premises.
Subsequently, firefighters from the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) reached the scene and after hectic efforts, managed to put the fire out. According to fire brigade officials, two firefighting vehicles were dispatched. They said the flames soon spread due to the presence of wooden furniture and fittings at the office.
WorldCall had received several threats earlier, Daily Express quoted the cable service’s employees as saying. They said they had complained about the threats to police earlier, but had received no extra security.
Talking to reporters following the incident, Cable Operators Association of Pakistan (COAP) chairman Khalid Arain condemned the attack and demanded increased protection for cable operators across the country. He said cable operators were under threat because they were airing Geo network channels.
“We are facing multiple threats from various groups, but the government has failed to provide us adequate security,” Arain said, adding that they could not carry on their business under such circumstances.
He pointed out another attack on cable operators took place on Friday. “Unidentified men tried to set a cable system in Rahimyar Khan on fire, but police are still unfazed,” he said.
Meanwhile, police have initiated an inquiry into the WorldCall office attack. Clifton SHO Ghazala Parveen said police officials were trying to obtain footage from CCTV cameras installed in the building and would make composite sketches of the suspects with the help of eyewitnesses.
No case has been registered so far, though.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2014.