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Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Geo news correspondent killed in Swat: A joint act of terror by Taliban and ISI?

The gruesome murder of Musa Khankhel, a correspondent of The News and Geo News in Swat, on Wednesday has sent a wave of shock, indignation and grief all over the country. He was brutally killed in Matta while covering the peace march of Tahrik-e-Nifaz Shariat Muhammadi (TNSM) Peace March led by its chief, Maulana Sufi Muhammad reached Matta. Unknown gunmen kidnapped him and pumped twelve bullets in his body and later beheaded him. It was the first murder in Swat after the peace accord fifth since disturbances began in Swat.

Musa Khan Khel's body was found close to the town of Matta several hours after he had left the rest of his crew without telling them where he was going, said Azhar Abbas, the managing director of Geo, Pakistan's most popular news channel.

He had been shot several times in his upper body, and his throat was partly slit, Abbas said, refusing to speculate on a motive for the crime.

Khel had arrived in the town after filing reports on Geo about a peace march to the town by Sufi Muhammad — an aging pro-Taliban cleric who is father-in-law to Swat Taliban leader Maulana Fazlullah — and hundreds of his supporters.

Geo news correspondent killed in Matta

Updated at: 1950 PST, Wednesday, February 18, 2009

SWAT: Geo news and The News correspondent, Mosa Khankhel has been killed in Matta on Wednesday.

According to sources, Mosa Khankhel was shot dead when he was on duty in Matta area. Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Sherry Rehman has strongly condemned the killing of Geo news correspondent. She said the killers of Mosa Khankhel would be brought to justice.

Sherry also assured government’s full support to the family of Mosa Khankhel. Geo news team has condoled with bereaved family for the great loss. It demanded that the government should bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice. (The News)

Geo TV journalist Musa Khan shot dead in Swat


Geo TV reporter Musa Khan has been killed in the Swat province of Pakistan by unknown gunmen.

Pakistan's Information Minister Sherry Rehman said that the murder of the journalist was an attack on journalism.

Pakistan government has assured that it will look after the financial well-being of the slain reporter's family.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Interior Ministry chief Rahman Mallik has demanded a report be prepared on why and how the Geo TV reporter was killed.

Musa Khan was killed in Matta town, which incidentally is the same place where radical cleric, Sufi Mohammad, who spearheaded the deal with the government is meeting his son-in-law Maulana Fazlullah, the current head of the Taliban in Swat. The two are to finalise details of the deal.

This incident comes just hours after the Taliban took out another rally in Mingora in Swat. The rally celebrated the new code now to be official in the region.

The Islamic Sharia law will now govern all aspects of life in the region. Leading the rally was Sufi Mohammad, the pro-Taliban cleric chief of the Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat Mohammadi that signed the agreement with the provincial government.

Sufi Mohammad had said he was confident about getting the Taliban to end their war against the government and that he will persuade the Taliban fighters to lay down arms.

There is still no word yet on whether Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari will give his assent to the North West Frontier provincial government's agreement with the Taliban.

Spokesperson for the Tehrik-e-Taaliban spoke to CNN IBN about reporter Musa Khan's killing. He said, "This is not acceptable to us. This is against Islam."

Inamul Rehman, the president of Tehrek-E-Taaliban too condemned the journalist's death and said to CNN-IBN, "This will affect the peace process in the valley. We are shocked after this incident."

Prominent Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir said, "Musa was not only shot but also decapitated. He was continuously facing problems while reporting in Swat.The mood of celebration has been converted into mourning."

Pakistan journalists have called for Nationwide protest on Thursday.

Home Secretary of the North west Frontier province (NWFP) of Pakistan said to CNN-IBN, "We are concerned about these incidents.We have to investigate further. Peace talks will not be affected after this. We will provide additional security to journalists soon. We will bring peace to this region."

Pakistan Federal Union of Journalist (PFUJ) has strongly condemned the murder of Musa Khan.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has condemned the act by gunmen and demanded firm action be taken against the perpetrators of the crime.

The beautiful Swat Valley, also known as the Switzerland of Pakistan, is now under the control of Taliban. For the past many years, it has been the scene of fierce battle between the Taliban and Pakistani forces.

Following the imposition of Sharia law and the peace deal, guns have finally fallen silent in the region.

The Pakistan government on Monday signed a truce with the Taliban and local hardliners accepting imposition of the Islamic law in an attempt to curb terror in the Swat Valley.

Bomb destroys press club in Wana

PESHAWAR - A BOMB destroyed a local press club building on Wednesday in a restive tribal area of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan, but caused no casualties, an official said.

The two-storey building was reduced to rubble by the explosives, planted by unidentified people in Wana, the main town of South Waziristan tribal district, deputy administrator for the region Ghafoor Shah told AFP.

'Unidentified people planted a bomb at the press club which destroyed the building, but 13 security personnel deployed there remained unhurt,' Mr Shah said.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack.

There was no claim of responsibility, but Taleban militants operating in the area have threatened local reporters in the past.

Pakistan's lawless semi-autonomous tribal areas have been wracked by violence after hundreds of Taleban and Al-Qaeda rebels sought refuge following the US-led invasion of Afghanistan toppled the Taleban regime in late 2001. -- AFP


Report on BBC Urdu dot com, which suggests that local security personnel / khasadar force were standing quiet while the press club was being blown up:


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