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Gunmen fire at journalist's home

(PPF/IFEX) - Unidentified gunmen fired at the residence of Kamran Shafi, a columnist for the English-language newspaper "Dawn", on the night of 27 November 2009, in Rawalpindi, a city adjacent to Pakistan's capital of Islamabad.

The shooting incident was reported by Shafi in his column in "Dawn" on 1 December 2009. He said that it took place while he and his wife and daughter were making preparations for the Islamic festival of Eid the next day. Someone fired at the house six times with a high power firearm. His family remained safe.

The assailants took the bullet casings with them in order to erase evidence of the shooting. There were no casings found at the site, which, according to Shafi, gives credence to the theory that the assailants were trained professionals.

Shafi said that the next day he received a telephone call from a woman saying that what had happened to him was just the "trailer." She warned that if he was not careful about what he wrote he would soon see the "complete movie."

A criminal complaint has been registered and a senior police officer said police were investigating the incident.

The president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, and Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) Chief Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif telephoned Shafi to enquire about his welfare.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) strongly condemned the incident and characterised it as a harassment tactic to suppress the voice of conscience and truth. The PFUJ has demanded that the government insure the safety of the columnist and arrest the culprits involved in this incident.

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