Islamabad police have said that officials are investigating a break-in at the home of anchorperson Shiffa Yousafzai on Tuesday night.
In a video statement released on Tuesday night, Yousafzai had alleged that a group of armed men scaled the wall of her home and barged into the premises.
The journalist, however, said that she was out with her parents when the incident occurred. Yousafzai further alleged that the men tortured the household staff and questioned them about her whereabouts.
Subsequently, Islamabad police said that officials were present at Yousafzai’s home and that she was safe. Police further said arrangements had been made to provide her with adequate security.
“The police are examining all aspects of the incident and all sources will be investigated to get to the bottom of it,” police said.
Meanwhile, Hum News — the channel for which Yousafzai works for — tweeted that a first information report (FIR) of the incident had been lodged at the Kohsar police station.
The FIR was registered under Sections 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint), 506 (ii) (criminal intimidation) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
PM Shehbaz seeks report
Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb issued a statement on Wednesday that said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had taken strict notice of and sought a report from Islamabad Inspector General (IGP) Dr Akbar Nasir Khan.
According to the statement, the PM strongly condemned the incident and said the protection of citizens’ lives and properties was the government’s topmost priority.
The statement said the PM had issued directives for tracing the suspects and meting out strict punishment to them.
He also expressed solidarity with Yousafzai and her family, it added.
Moreover, Aurangzeb phoned Yousafzai and condemned the break-in. According to Radio Pakistan, Aurangzeb said the people involved in the incident would be brought to justice.
“She in strong words condemned the incident saying that police are investigating the incident. The anchorperson informed the minister that she was not present at home when the incident took place,” the report added.
The incident had drawn widespread condemnation online. Senior journalist Hamid Mir called upon the government to arrest the perpetrators instead of “condemning it”.
“Pakistan under a thick curtain of fascism. Yousafzai’s house broken in by armed men who manhandled her house staff. Its getting worse than martial law,” said PTI’s Hammad Azhar.
PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry questioned why the international journalists community was silent regarding such attacks in Pakistan.
“I call upon international organisations to immediately initiate [an] investigation into killings, torture and harassment incidents of journalists in Pakistan,” he said.