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Pakistani journalist shot and killed for investigating the drug trade

Ayub Khan Khattak, 42, a reporter of local newspaper Karak Times, was shot dead outside his home by two gunmen, on October 11, 2013 in Karak district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhuwa province of Pakistan.

The gunmen, waiting on a motorcycle, opened fire on Khattak as he was returning home with his son at around 6 in the evening after offering prayer. He died on the spot and the attackers fled the scene.

A criminal complaint (FIR) has been registered by Shams-ur-Rehman, the son of the slain journalist, who was the eye witness of his father's killing, against Ameenullah and Hub-e-Niaz.

Malick Arshad, President of the Khyber Union of Journalists (KUJ), told Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) that Khattak published news against the drug mafia, which could be the reason for his killing as the accused were involved in many cases of robbery and the drug trade.

Muhammad Aslam Khattak, the inspector of Latamber Police Station where the murder case was filed, told PPF that both the accused were caught a few days earlier in a robbery case and were later released on bail. Khattak published that story in his newspaper which could have been the cause behind his killing. The inspector said that the police are investigating and that the accused could be arrested soon.

The Karak Union of Journalists strongly condemned the murder of Khattak. In an emergency meeting it demanded that the police arrest the killers in order to provide security to the working journalists in the district. They organised a protest rally and warned of launching demonstrations if the killers were not arrested.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) also condemned the killing of Khattak and demanded that prompt action be taken by the government against the killers.

Khattak leaves behind a widow and two sons.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
What other IFEX members are saying
  • Reporter gunned down for investigating drug dealing

    Khattak, who was used to being threatened in connection with his reporting, had been investigating an increase in drug dealing in the Wrana Mir Hassankhel neighbourhood. His family said he was not involved in any personal dispute and that the motive was clearly linked to his work.

  • Impunity rampant as death toll of Pakistan’s journalists hits nine for the year

    The International Federation of Journalists expresses its shock at the brutal killing of journalist Ayub Khattak and grave concern for the ongoing safety of journalists as Pakistan’s death toll reached a global high for 2013.

  • In Pakistan, one journalist murdered, another attacked

    "We call on Minister Rasheed to match his words with actions by pressing his government to thoroughly investigate this latest murder and bring the perpetrators to justice," said CPJ Asia Program Coordinator Bob Dietz. "The minister should use these cases to underline his stated commitment to ending violence against journalists in Pakistan."

  • Nine journalists killed so far in Pakistan

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