LAHORE: Unidentified men reportedly thrashed senior journalist and analyst Ayaz Amir and his driver here on Friday.
Reports said Amir was attacked when he just left a private channel’s office on Abbot Road in his car driven by his driver.
The attackers thrashed Amir and his driver and then snatched the journalist’s wallet and a mobile phone, before they drove away.
The incident occurred a day after the strongly worded speech he delivered at a seminar in Islamabad, where he had criticised the policies of former premier Imran Khan, accusing him of facilitating the realtors and property tycoons during his rule. He also talked about extension granted to the army chief, criticising the decision.
Amir told a journalist at Dunya News that as soon as he left the office, some six unidentified men in a car blocked his vehicle, attacked him and fled away.
In the attack, he suffered injuries on his face.
The incident went viral on social media, triggering a debate on the motive behind the attack and the identity of the assailants.
Lahore Operations police Deputy Inspector General (DIG) retired Capt Sohail Chaudhry said the police high-ups were probing into the matter on a priority basis.
He said senior police officers, including Lahore capital city police officer (CCPO), reached the spot soon after the incident and that investigating teams were collecting footage of the Punjab Safe City Authority (PSCA) and private cameras to trace the attackers’ car.
He hoped the assailants would be arrested soon.
Following the incident, former premier and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan in his Tweet condemned assault on senior journalist.
“I condemn in strongest terms the violence against senior journalist Ayaz Amir today. Pak descending into the worst kind of fascism with violence & fake FIRs against journalists, opp politicians, citizens. When the State loses all moral authority it resorts to violence,” Imran Khan wrote.
Condemning the attack, PML-N senior leader Pervaiz Rashid wrote that all agencies responsible for the protection of citizens must arrest the perpetrators as soon as possible and bring them to justice. Dr Shahbaz Gill tweeted that the attack on Ayaz Amir has been reported as violence and snatching of his mobile phone. These are the tactics of traditional fascism.
The attack on Amir was also widely condemned by the journalists community.
Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2022