KARACHI: Senior journalist and GeoNews anchorperson Hamid Mir was stable on Sunday after doctors at the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) took out three of the six bullets after a successful surgery a night before.
His younger brother Faisal Mir, who was sitting outside his room in the private wing, told Dawn that as soon as the anchorperson woke up he inquired about “his guard, Daulat Khan, and driver”.
He said he was sedated at the moment because of the pain in his abdomen, but he was recovering in a stable manner. “As for the remaining three bullets, the doctors have said it is better to leave them inside the body because taking them out at the moment will complicate his health.”
According to Faisal Mir, the doctors said that “three major surgeries are required though he is stable”.
Hamid Mir was visiting the city to run a transmission on peace talks with the Taliban, his team members said. But he ended up becoming news himself, said one of them.
The main lobby of the hospital’s private wing was full of flowers sent by various political leaders, officials and Karachi police.
Mir’s car was chased by armed men on two motorbikes and a car on Saturday after it made a turn from the main airport road. According to his media team, the men chased Mir’s car till it reached the hospital. Incidentally, a van belonging to a money-changer was at the back of Mir’s car and thought the armed men were after them.
The men on the motorcycles dispersed only after the van guards shot in the air, said a member of his media team.
A Geo official said the gunmen first shot at the driver but it hit side panel of the car. On hearing the first shot, Mir asked the driver to speed up the car while he made a phone call to a crime reporter at Geo, informing him about the incident.
While shooting in the air guard Daulat Khan put one of his hands on Mir’s wounds to stop the profuse bleeding. The driver, in the meanwhile, took the wrong side of the main Karsaz Road to reach the hospital.
When asked about FIR, Faisal Mir said the family was waiting for Hamid Mir regaining consciousness. “We won’t file an FIR before that. We need his consent and for that we’ll wait till he is able to speak for himself.”
Meanwhile, a number of political leaders visited the hospital on Sunday to show their solidarity with the anchorperson.
Federal Information Minister Pervez Rashid told journalists outside the hospital that it was responsibility of the Sindh government to provide security to the anchorperson. Answering a question, he said it would not be advisable to blame anyone for the attack.
Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon told reporters that the provincial government had written a letter to the federal government seeking its help in investigation into the case. “We need centre’s help in ‘geo-fencing’ of the area. We don’t want to lodge an FIR in haste.”
Home Secretary Dr Niaz Ali Abbasi said FIR would be lodged against anyone nominated by Hamid Mir.
Ahmed Raza Kasuri, lawyer of former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf in the high treason case, told reporters that the attack on the anchorperson could be the work of Indian agency RAW and Israel’s Mossad.
Meanwhile, a statement issued by the AKUH said: “GeoNews anchorperson Hamid Mir continues to recover. He is able to talk and has exchanged a few words with his family. Visitors are not allowed to reduce the risk of infection.”
INVESTIGATION: Police claimed to have made some progress in investigation into the attack.
“We are assessing all aspects behind the attack and co-relating them with evidences collected from the crime scene and some witnesses,” said DIG Karachi East Munir Ahmed Shaikh who is heading an investigation team set up by Sindh IG Iqbal Mehmood.
“We have not yet reached a conclusion, but all I can say is that some progress has been made in the case,” he said.
The DIG said there were several CCTVs at the Jinnah terminal and on the Sharea Faisal installed by public and private institutions and police were collecting footages from them for some clues.