KARACHI: Senior journalist Aftab Alam was killed in a gun attack near his home in Karachi's North Karachi neighbourhood on Wednesday, television reports said.

Unknown assailants opened fire on Alam near his home in North Karachi's Sector 11-C. Alam was rushed to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where doctors declared him dead after an external examination.

Later, Alam's mother and sister took his body to the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH).

He was shot in the head upon leaving his residence to pick his children up from school. DIG West Feroz Shah said the police recovered three 9 MM bullet casings from the site.

The shooting took place near Sir Syed market and within the remits of the Sir Syed police station.

Alam, 42, was unemployed for the past year and a half on account of health issues and had previously worked with Geo News. He was also reportedly associated with Samaa TV at one point.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah took notice of the murder and directed the police to submit a report on the incident. He has ordered for the immediate arrest of those behind the attack.

Location map for violence during last 36 hours in District Central of Karachi.
Location map for violence during last 36 hours in District Central of Karachi.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attack and prayed for eternal peace for the departed soul. He also directed relevant authorities to make a comprehensive security plan for journalists in Pakistan immediately.

Sindh Interior Minister Suhail Anwar Siyal demanded a report about the attack from Inspector General Police (IGP) Sindh Ghulam Haider Jamali, while ordering immediate arrest of the murderers.

Siyal further said that such attacks cannot deter the war against terrorism and terrorists in the province.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) too condemned the attack.

Moreover, the Karachi Union of Journalists – Dastoor said Alam’s killing was a question mark on the efficacy of the Sindh government and the security agencies. The organisation said it condemned the targeted killings of and attacks on media workers in the strongest possible terms.

The Journalist Union demanded the immediate arrest of killers of both Alam and Arshad Ali Jafri, a media worker killed yesterday.

The senior journalist’s death comes hours after senior satellite engineer Arshad Ali Jafri who was associated with Geo News was gunned down in an attack on the channel’s DSNG van in Karachi’s Bahadurabad area. The van driver also suffered bullet injuries in the attack.

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

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.

Rangers vow to catch culprits

Pakistan Rangers Sindh has taken serious notice of the target killings of media persons in the city and has decided to kick off concerted efforts for the arrest of perpetrators of such henious crimes, Rangers spokesman said in a statement.

The statement further said that nexus between some groups trying to malign the operation will be made public and stern action will be initiated against these elements who are killing media men for their ulterior motives.

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