KARACHI: A technical engineer of Geo News was killed when its digital satellite news gathering (DSNG) van was attacked in Bahadurabad area here on Tuesday.

The van driver also suffered bullet injuries in the attack.

Police remained clueless about the motive, but investigators are sure that the attack was not a mugging attempt because it appeared to be a deliberate murder.

SSP East Javed Jiskani Baloch said there were four employees with the DSNG. Two of them were inside a store in the area, while engineer Syed Arshad Jaffery and driver Anis Chauhan were waiting for them on a roadside.

According to a witness, three men clad in Shalwar-Kameez came there on a motorbike. One of them got off the bike and fired multiple shots.

Mr Jaffery received seven bullets and the driver was hit by one.

Mr Baloch said the injured driver took the vehicle to a private hospital where Mr Jaffery died.

He said facts were being collected and investigations were open because police were not aware of any specific threat to the news channel by an individual or a group.

The Geo News management called it a ‘targeted attack’ and said the assault apparently was meant to harass not only the channel’s staff but also the entire Pakistani media.

“Police have to determine the motive behind the attack, but obviously we see it as a targeted attack not only on Geo and its team but also on the country’s free media,” said Azhar Abbas, head of Geo News. “We strongly condemn this attack, but at the same time rely on police which have assured us of a thorough, speedy and transparent investigation into the incident. We expect them to bring the planners and attackers to justice.”

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and Karachi Union of Journalists called it an attempt to harass and suppress the media. They demanded a thorough and transparent investigation into the incident.

They also urged the government to provide security to the journalist community and media organisations.

Sindh Home Minister Suhail Anwar Siyal ordered the DIG East to submit a report immediately. He vowed to arrest the culprits and bring them to justice.

The assault came as a grim reminder of an incident in which three employees of Express News were shot dead in North Nazimabad in January last year.

That attack was claimed by the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2015

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