KARACHI: Unidentified gunmen attacked a DawnNews Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG) van in the Essa Nagri area of Karachi on Friday, injuring one staff member.
Attackers riding motorcycles fired straight shots at the DSNG van near Essa Nagri, leaving technician Hassan Mateen severely injured. Mateen has been taken to a private hospital for treatment.
Doctors say the staffer was shot in the shoulder and his condition is stable. Doctors had earlier moved him to the operation theatre, terming his condition critical.
DawnNews Cameraman Umar Shah said the attackers fired at the DSNG from the left side while the vehicle was in motion.
Security forces were on high alert in Karachi, but the attackers managed to carry out the attack and flee successfully.
Footage from the scene of the attack showed multiple bullets had penetrated the vehicle. The driving seat of the DSNG was covered in blood.
A case was registered against unknown persons for the attack on DawnNews DSNG at Aziz Bhatti police station Saturday.
Case number 541 was registered under sections pertaining to murder attempts, property damage and the anti-terrorism act.
PFUJ announces protest
Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) President Rana Azeem while talking to DawnNews announced a countrywide protest against what he called 'an attack on journalism'.
"I urge all the journalist community to protest against the attack tomorrow after 3pm," said Rana Azeem.
'Attempt to silence media'
Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid condemned the incident, terming it an attack on "freedom of expression."
He said the government accords top priority to the safety and security of journalists and media workers, adding that all possible measures are being taken by the government in this regard.
Earlier, secretary general PFUJ, Amin Yusuf while talking to Dawn News, strongly condemned the incident and called upon Governor Sindh and Chief Minister Sindh to take notice of the incident.
The PFUJ secretary general said that the journalist community will resort to a nationwide protest if such attacks won’t stop.
Sindh Education Minister Nisar Khuhro, while speaking on DawnNews, said this is just another attempt to weaken and terrorise the population. But none of us will be scared.
Khuhro added that he considers the attack on DawnNews an attack on himself.
Senior journalist Mazhar Abbas pointed to the string of recent attacks on the media and said mere words will not suffice; there is a need for action, and training of staff by media houses themselves. He suggested DSNG vans should not bear logos/branding.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) spokesperson Izharul Hasan condemned the attack in strong words, saying that it is impossible to send out security forces with each DSNG, but systems need to be in place to deal with these attacks.
"There are simply no systems in place for anything," said Izharul Hasan.
Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq, while condemning the attack, said that the incident shows that the government has failed to establish peace in Karachi.
Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah claimed that the attack is a painful incident and the government will bring the culprits to justice as soon as possible.
Provincial Interior Minister Suhail Anwar Siyal while talking to DawnNews condemned the attack in strong words, adding that a probe has already been ordered into the attack.
"A police team will launch an investigation into the incident; the team will be led by a Superintendent Police," said Siyal.
The minister said that according to initial investigation, the attackers used a 9MM pistol during the attack.
Governor Sindh Ishratul Ibad Khan was of the view that the attack on DawnNews van is a continuation of the terror attacks around the country but the nation along with media is united against terrorism.
A number of journalists and politicians condemned the attack on social media.
Also Read: Journalists under siege in Pakistan: CPJ