LAHORE: Six unidentified persons tortured senior journalist Ayaz Amir on Friday night when he came out of a private TV channel office at Abbott Road in the Qila Gujjar Singh police area.
The unidentified suspects stopped the vehicle of senior journalist Ayaz Amir, assaulted him and tore off his clothes. The assailants tortured Ayaz Amir, dragging him out of his vehicle, and also snatched his mobile phone and wallet.
Ayaz said a car blocked his vehicle the moment he left the TV office, adding the six attackers tortured him and his driver. They threatened him, and fled the scene, leaving him injured. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz took notice of the incident and sought a report from the IGP.
IGP Punjab also took notice of the incident and directed CCPO Bilal Siddique Kamyana and DIG Operations Sohail Chaudhry to take immediate action. SP Civil Lines Safdar Kazmi visited the crime scene and met the victim at TV office.
The CCPO said the police would ensure the arrest of the accused as soon as possible with the help of CCTV cameras. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also condemned the incident and ordered Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz to hold a high-level investigation.
“Suspects should be brought before the law as soon as possible. Journalism and protection of journalists should be ensured,” said PM Shehbaz. The Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND) has denounced the attack. It said the attack on Ayaz Amir speaks of grave conditions journalists face in Pakistan.
The AEMEND said attacks are aimed at preventing journalists from freely expressing their opinion. It stressed the need for strict and indiscriminate action against those responsible for violence against journalists. It said the rule of law alone could ensure the freedom of expression guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan.
The association demanded the prime minister, the chief minister and IGP take prompt action and expose the motives behind the attack. PTI Chairman Imran Khan also condemned the attack in "strongest terms" in a statement released on Twitter.
"Pakistan descending into the worst kind of fascism with violence and fake FIRs against journalists, opposition politicians, citizens. When the state loses all moral authority it resorts to violence," claimed the former prime minister.
In a viral video in an event organised by the party the other day, Ayaz Amir can be seen enlightening PTI Chairman Imran Khan. Lashing out at the PTI chairman, the journalist said people were told that how the captain, in his cricketing days, revolutionised the team and what not. “You handed over the country to property dealers,” Amir told Khan, who smiled in response. Ayaz advised the PTI chairman to replace the pictures of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal in the event hall with those of property dealers.