Sign up for weekly updates

Tribal journalist targeted in bomb blast

An investigative journalist who often wrote about militants in Pakistan's Tribal Areas was killed last night in an apparently targeted bomb blast in Peshawar, report Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) and other IFEX members.

Nasrullah Khan Afridi died when a remote-control device planted in his car was detonated as he was leaving the office of the Tribal Union of Journalists (TUJ), which he frequently visited. No one has claimed responsibility for the killing.

Afridi was a correspondent of state-run Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) and contributor to the newspapers "Statesman" and "Mashriq". According to PPF, Afridi had moved from Khyber Agency a few years ago after receiving threats by a leader of the militant group Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI). The union reports that he repeatedly reported the threats to the government, which offered him no protection.

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan have strongly condemned the death of Afridi and ordered an official inquiry, says PPF.

Last week on World Press Freedom Day, Zardari met with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and pledged to pursue justice for journalists killed in the line of duty. "We asked President Zardari to do all within his power to stem the growth in fatal targeted attacks on journalists that have plagued the country for years," said CPJ, which will monitor Zardari's commitment. "Failure to do so allows violent forces in Pakistan to determine the limits of public debate."

Since the investigation into the kidnapping and killing of "Wall Street Journal" reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002, at least 15 other journalists have died in targeted killings in Pakistan, says CPJ - eight of them last year. None of their killers have been brought to justice.

Zardari promised to follow up on all the cases, saying "the protection of journalists is in my mandate."

Related stories on

Latest Tweet:

Para @article19mex el proceso de designación del primer Fiscal General de #México fue una simulación…

Get more stories like this

Sign up for our newsletters and get the most important free expression news delivered to your inbox.