Journalist Khalil Jibran was gunned down in the Landi Kotal area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Khyber district on Tuesday night, the police said.

According to a statement from District Police Officer (DPO) Saleem Abbas, unknown assailants in a vehicle pulled the journalist out of his car near his home and fled the scene after shooting him dead.

DPO Abbas said the body was moved to a local hospital for a postmortem examination.

He said the deceased was associated with Khyber News for a long time and was also a former president of the Landi Kotal press club, adding that Jibran had received threats from terrorists before as well.

The DPO said a case was registered on the complaint of Advocate Sajjad, who was with Jibran and a witness to the crime.

The first information report, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, was registered at the Landi Kotal police station under Sections 302 (intentional murder) and 324 (attempted murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

The journalist’s funeral prayers were offered at his ancestral village today and were attended in large numbers by locals, journalists, political figures and social workers.

Condemnations poured in for the murder from the highest levels of government.

“Every effort must be made to bring the killers of Khalil Jibran to justice,” said President Asif Ali Zardari in his condemnatory message.

He added that steps needed to be taken to protect journalists in the country.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed KP Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur and relevant authorities to arrest the perpetrators and hold them accountable.

He reiterated the government’s resolve to take all-out measures to protect the lives and freedom of the media community.

KP Governor Faisal Karim Kundi expressed regret over the loss of life and extended his condolences to the deceased’s family while offering prayers for Jibran.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also called for the immediate arrest of the culprits and for the KP government to ensure the safety of journalists.

Pakistan reports three to four murders of journalists each year, as per the 2024 World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters With Borders. In fact, this year the country dropped two places to rank 152 out of 180 on the index, highlighting the threats under which journalists in Pakistan work.

Journalist Nasrullah Gadani, who was shot at and wounded by armed assailants in Mirpur Mathelo on May 21, died at a private hospital in Karachi three days later on May 24.

On May 3, Maulana Muhammad Siddique Mengal, the president of the Khuzdar Press Club, was killed in a bomb blast. The murder coincided with World Press Freedom Day, a day dedicated to the importance of journalism and freedom of speech, according to the United Nations.


Additional input from APP.

Opinion

Editorial

Injustice undone
Updated 13 Jul, 2024

Injustice undone

The SC verdict is a stunning reversal of fortunes for a party that was, both before and after general elections, being treated as a defunct entity.
Looming flour shortage
13 Jul, 2024

Looming flour shortage

FOR once, it is hard to argue against the reason that compelled flour mills to call a nationwide strike from...
Same old script
13 Jul, 2024

Same old script

WHEN it comes to the troubling issue of enforced disappearances/ missing persons — either Baloch or belonging to...
Misery and despair
Updated 12 Jul, 2024

Misery and despair

Is a life lived happily and respectably too much to ask for from your country?
Temporary extension
12 Jul, 2024

Temporary extension

THE cabinet’s decision to allow ‘legal’ Afghan refugees — meaning those with Proof of Registration cards —...
Anti-smog strategy
12 Jul, 2024

Anti-smog strategy

BY acknowledging that smog is a year-round problem, and not just a winter issue, the Punjab government has taken the...