SWAT: A large number of civil society members, political activists, journalists and youth paid glowing tribute to slain journalist Musa Khankhel for his professional and fearless reporting during militancy in Swat.

They were speaking at a ceremony held here to observe the 14th death anniversary of the journalist, who was killed in Matta tehsil on February 18, 2009, where he had gone for media coverage of an event. The event was addressed by former MPA Mohammad Amin, Fazal Hakim, Abdullah Yousafzai, Rashid Iqbal, Shahzad Alam, Sohail Bacha, Rafiullah and Rahmat Ali.

They said that Musa Khankhel was a fearless and active journalist, who continued to work during the militancy period. Besides him, three other journalists were also killed during militancy in Swat.

“During the militancy, we not only lost elders, youth and political activists but also four journalists, who were killed ruthlessly. History will remember our martyrs. Musa Khankhel will be remembered for his bravery and courage as he never hesitated to perform his duty during the harsh time of Swat,” said ANP leader Abdullah Khan.

He said that Pakhtuns must resist all forms of terrorism. He added that Pakhtuns had rendered numerous sacrifices for restoration of peace.

Journalists at the event said that Musa Khankhel was a daring journalist, who always highlighted issues in his stories for the sake of his homeland and peace.

“It was a time when people from every walk of life faced extreme difficulties but the job of journalists was twofold difficult during the insurgency period. We were like sandwiched between Taliban and state and going between them was highly difficult,” said Shahzad Alam, a senior journalist.

He said that he worked with Musa Khankhel during that period and found him courageous.

Musa Khankhel’s brother Esa Khankhel thanked the participants of the event and the journalists for organising the death anniversary.

Musa Khankhel has been awarded with Sitara-i-Imtiaz for showing excellence and courage in his field. Sitara-i-Imtiaz will be given to his heirs by President of Pakistan in a ceremony on Pakistan Day, March 23, 2023.

Published in Dawn, February 19th, 2023

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