PESHAWAR, Dec 6: Two tribal journalists, Abdul Wahab Mohmand and Pervez Khan Mohmand, fell in the line of duty and another one received injuries in the devastating twin-suicide blasts at Ghalanai, Mohmand Agency, exposing the vulnerability of mediapersons working in the conflict zones.
The Tribal Union of Journalists (TUJ) will observe three-day mourning during which black flags would be hoisted on all the press clubs in the tribal areas.
The TUJ president, Ibrahim Shinwari, who chaired an emergency meeting of the union, termed their death a great loss. The meeting asked all its members to wear black armbands for three days.
The meeting called upon the federal and provincial governments and the international and national organisations of journalists to provide compensation to the families of the deceased.
Abdul Wahab was a former general secretary of Ghalanai Press Club and worked as correspondent of Express News. He has left behind a widow and two daughters, the elder one around three years of age.
Among his colleagues, Mr Wahab, who was around 35, was considered a courageous and dedicated journalist, who was attached to this profession for over a decade. He belonged to Dara village in Haleemzai tehsil of Mohmand Agency.
Similarly, Pervez Khan, who was about 28, was attached with Waqt TV. He was also married and has left behind a widow and four children. He hailed from Mula Mandi area in Haleemzai tehsil.
Both the journalists were on their routine duty and visited the administration offices, where the occurrence took place, to get information about different stories.
The injured journalist, Mohab Ali Mohmand, is attached with a news agency. He is in the field for around eight years.
The president of TUJ, Mohmand Agency, Mustaram Khan, said that several journalists of the agency were busy in a training workshop in Peshawar, otherwise the casualties of mediapersons would have been much higher. He said that both the deceased were professional journalists, who had always evinced interest in their work.
Earlier, this year a cameraman of Samaa television channel, Malik Arif, was killed in a suicide blast at Civil Hospital Quetta on April 16.
The next day on April 17, another journalist of the same television channel, Azmat Ali Bangash, was killed when two suicide blasts took place near an IDPs centre in Kohat.
Similarly, a journalist, Ali Raza, working with a local newspaper, was killed when three blasts ripped through a procession on Sept 1 in Lahore. He died two days latter at a hospital.
The TUJ president told Dawn that mediapersons, especially in the tribal areas, had been working in harsh conditions as almost all the tribal areas had turned into conflict zones.