PPF condemn armed attack on Absar Alam

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Islamabad: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) is alarmed and concerned at the murder attempt on Absar Alam and strongly supports calls for a judicial inquiry into the attack so that the motives and identities of the perpetrators behind the attack are uncovered.

Alam, who is the former chairman of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and former editor of Daily Nation, Islamabad was shot in Islamabad on April 20, as he was taking an evening stroll near his house.  An unidentified man jumped over the fence of the park, fired at Alam and escaped.  Police have registered a criminal case against unidentified men for firing on Alam.

Alam was rushed to the hospital by his friends.  Although injured, Alam recorded a video on the way to the hospital in which he said he had been struck on his ribs.  In a note of defiance Alam declared: “My message to those who did this is that I am not going to be scared by such tactics.”

The Inspector General of Police Islamabad has constituted a special team under the command of the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Investigations to investigate the attack.  “The Team has been directed to use all scientific and forensic methods to trace the accused involved in the incident,” the Islamabad Police said on Twitter.

The attack has been widely condemned by  media, political parties and civil society organisations.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) strongly condemned the attack on Alam. In a statement, PFUJ President Shehzada Zulfiqar and Secretary General Nasir Zaidi demanded the immediate arrest of the culprits and urged the federal government to investigate the incident “as now it seems the deep state is at large against journalists community who are victim of rising crime and terrorism in the country”. They demanded the constitution of a judicial commission to investigate the attack.

Meanwhile, the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) “expressed deep concern over the dastardly incident of terrorism”. CPNE President Arif Nizami and Secretary General Dr Jabbar Khattak urged the authorities to promptly act, and use all investigative mechanisms at their disposal to arrest the culprits.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) condemned the attack and urged the government “to bring the culprits to book immediately”.

Information Minister Fawad Chauhdry condemned the assassination attempt on Alam, adding that he had told the police to immediately investigate the incident and as details emerged, he would share them with the media.

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