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- Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - From Print Edition


ISLAMABAD: The attempt on the life of Geo News’ senior anchorperson Hamid Mir has been widely condemned after an explosive device was found fastened beneath the car of ‘Capital Talk’ host on Monday.


Government functionaries, political parties, media organisations and civil society termed the bid an effort to gag the media through harassing journalists in the country, and demanded early action to bring the culprits to book.


Talking to the media persons at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences after launch of cleanness drive in the hospital, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira has strongly condemned the planting of explosive material on the car of Hamid Mir.


Kaira assured that full security will be provided to the journalists. He said terrorists had been threatening the journalists in the past as well for raising voice for truth.


The minister asked the journalists organisations to come with the suggestions and that the government was ready to implement those to extend all kinds of security to journalists. He said the country is faced with terrorism and journalists have also been the victim this menace.


“We denounce this extremist mindset,” Kaira added.Senate Chairman Syed Nayyer Hussain Bukhari and his Deputy Sabir Baloch have expressed concern over assassination bid on the life of senior anchor Hamid Mir.


In a message, they said the journalists could not be stopped from raising voice of people by adopting such tactics. Media was raising the voice of justice and truth. Defence of Human Rights also expressed grave concern and shock over the attempted bomb attack on senior journalist Hamid Mir.


In a statement Defence of Human Rights Chairperson Amina Masood Janjua demanded a fair and unbiased inquiry into the matter which would lead to immediate arrest of culprits. She said such cowardly attacks can never conceal the voice of truth.


“We condemn bomb attack on Hamid Mir and at the same time salute his brave stance. He has always been raising a strong voice for the truth and the aggrieved no matter what especially to highlight the cause of missing persons and in restoration of judiciary he rendered unmatched services,” she said.


Defence of Human Rights stands united with cause of truthful journalism and shows solidarity with all the brothers and sisters in the field who are being targeted (punished) for boldly presenting the hidden reality between the lines, she added.


Meanwhile, in a press release, Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain has expressed his deep concern over the recovery of explosive material from beneath the car of Hamid Mir.


The MQM chief said that the wicked act was tantamount to suppressing the freedom of the Press. Hussain said that the vicious attempt to blow the car of Mir is aimed at suppressing the voice of truth and restraining journalists from discharging their professional responsibilities independently. He said that it was not an attempt on Mir alone; rather it was an attempt on the members of journalist community at large. He said the MQM condemns terrorism, and it is with the journalist community.


Hussain demanded President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, and Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik to take a serious view of the recovery of explosion material from the car of Hamid Mir. He also called for positive steps to protect the life and property of other journalists as well. He said that the elements behind this incident must be brought to justice.


Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) also expressed its serious concern over the discovery of a bomb under the vehicle of Hamid Mir.


In a statement, PFUJ Secretary General Amin Yousuf said: “Such acts amounted to silencing those who support freedom of expression. But media would never be silenced.”


“There has been a surge in attacks on the media which is a deplorable trend. It is the responsibility of the government to provide protection to the journalists who strived to provide true facts to the people without any biases.”


The PFUJ called upon the government to nab those involved in such heinous acts.


Meanwhile, South Asian Free Media Association (Safma) and Media Commission-Pakistan have expressed concern at an attempt on Hamid Mir’s life.


“Mir has been reporting receiving threats time and again. But placing of a bag with explosives under his car means no serious measures have been taken to ensure his security,” said Safma Secretary General Imtiaz Alam, Safma Pakistan President Nusrat Javeed and MC-P President M Ziauddin in a joint statement.


“The security situation for journalists is getting worse with each passing day. The government should take serious measures to safeguard the lives and rights of the journalists,” they said.


Meanwhile, Ansar Burney Trust Chairman Ansar Burney also condemned bid on Hamid Mir’s life. In a message, Burney demanded of the government to unveil the faces behind the conspiracy, and bring them to book. He also demanded to provide protection to the journalist community in the country.


He said that such heinous activities cannot harass the journalists.


Faisal Kamal Pasha adds from Rawalpindi: Crime and Court Reporters Association (CCRA) of Rawalpindi has condemned the assassination attempt over the life of senior and leading journalist of Geo TV Hamid Mir declaring the incident a coward and shameful act.


In condemnation to the act the CCRA took out a rally from Rawalpindi Press Club to Murree Road. Participants of the protest demanded of the government to immediately arrest the culprits involved in this heinous act.


Earlier, the CCRA held a meeting with its President Rahat Munir in the chair where all members of the association participated. The meeting unanimously adopted a resolution in condemnation of the terrorist attack. They expressed that there were few elements trying to suppress freedom of press and media. These elements had been harassing the journalists. The government should take serious notice of the situation and the culprit should be brought before the court of law and public.