KHYBER: Journalists in Khyber tribal district have strongly resented the ‘rough’ treatment they were meted out at a security checkpost in Sheen Kamar area of Bara the other day.

Farooq Afridi, a Bara-based journalist, told his colleagues at the local press club that he along two other reporters, Jahanzeb Afridi and Khadim Khan, was on his way to Jamrud on Friday to participate in a protest demonstration against the brutal murder of one of their senior Landi Kotal colleague.

However, he said they were stopped at the checkpost despite showing their personal identity cards as journalists and registered members of the Bara Press Club.

Farooq alleged that the armed staffers at the checkpost not only confiscated their CNICs but they also tried to snatch their mobile phones, which they resisted.

He said that upon their refusal to surrender their mobile phones, they were made to wait on the main road for over an hour under the blazing sun.

He said that he along with two other colleagues repeatedly pleaded with the security staff that they were journalists and wanted to not only participate in the protest demonstration but also to report the event to their respective media organisations.

Farooq said that they were allowed to go only after the incident was highlighted on the social media.

He and the other two journalists appealed to the security officials to take action against those responsible for mishandling them.

Meanwhile, the Sultankhel tribesmen held a protest demonstration in Takiya area of Landi Kotal on Saturday against the murder of a local journalist, Khalil Jibran.

The protesters blocked the main Torkham road for several hours while demanding arrest of the unknown assailants involved in the killing.

They expressed their serious concern over the recent rise in targeted killing in Landi Kotal as at least three persons, including a policeman and Khalil Jibran, were targeted within a span of three months, but the law enforcement agencies had failed to initiate any action against the culprits involved in these incidents of targeted killings.

Published in Dawn, June 23rd, 2024

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