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Thursday, 19 February 2009

Geo TV reporter Musa Khan Khel had 32 bullet wounds.

Slain Pak TV reporter had 32 bullet wounds

Thursday, 19 February , 2009, 12:19

Islamabad: Thirty two bullets were pumped into TV reporter Musa Khan Khel in Pakistan's Swat Valley two days after Islamabad allowed the Taliban to impose Shariat (Islamic law) in the area, said Geo News executive editor Hamid Mir, adding a lot of radicals were unhappy with his coverage but "truth has to be reported".

Mir told a meeting of journalists: "They (the assailants) are mistaken, they cannot escape." He said that Musa Khan Khel's statements were recorded "2-3 times before his death. Truth has to be reported," he said.

Mir went on to say that several journalists had earlier been killed in the valley while performing their duty. Another journalist demanded that the government make arrangements for the protection of journalists in Swat and the killing was an assault on all journalists. He said that "there is no rule of law" in Swat.

Geo TVsaid unidentified gunmen shot dead Musa Khan Khel in Matta area of Swat Valley in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). Khan Khel, who also worked for the English newspaper The News, was in the area to cover the talks between the local Taliban leader and a cleric, the News Network International (NNI) news agency reported.

No group claimed responsibility for the killing. Khan Khel is the second journalist to be shot dead in Swat valley in three months. Information Minister Sherry Rehman condemned Khan Khel's murder and vowed to bring the murderers to justice.

Who killed Musa Khan? The dangerous culture of "Breaking News" in Pakistani journalism. Will the owners of The Jang Group/Geo TV and other media tycoons accepts their responsibility?

Analysis by Abdul Haye Kakar at BBC Urdu dot com:



Musa Khankhel — murder of a brave journalist

Thursday, February 19, 2009

By Rahimullah Yusufzai

PESHAWAR: Musa Khankhel used to tell his colleagues at The News International that he will be killed for his work as a journalist in Swat.

He was right.

On Wednesday, he was brutally murdered by unknown people while covering the vehicular procession of Maulana Sufi Mohammad, who is on a peace mission in Swat, from Mingora to Matta. The killers executed him after kidnapping him from Matta.

Musa Khankhel died with his boots on. He lost his life in the line of duty. He was the fourth journalist to be martyred in Swat since 2007 when violence first erupted in Pakistan’s most beautiful and peaceful valley. Sirajuddin, Aziz Khan and Qari Shoaib had been martyred earlier. However, Musa Khankhel’s murder was the first target killing of a Swati journalist.

His younger brother Isa Khankhel, who is also a journalist, was crying when he phoned this scribe to break the news of Musa Khankhel’s murder. He had lost not only a dear brother but also a professional colleague. They used to work together, helping each other at every step. Being older, Musa had taken Isa under his wings. Now Isa would have to cope for himself.

Friends and acquaintances used to joke with the two brothers while mentioning their names. Both had been named after prophets. Their names had a certain rhythm. One had to mention Musa and the name of Isa would come to mind. Like their names, Musa and Isa stuck together.

Musa Khankhel phoned this scribe on Wednesday morning to complain that the officials manning the military-run Swat Media Centre in Saidu Sharif had denied him permission to cover the press conference that senior provincial minister and ANP leader Bashir Bilour and other ministers were addressing. Isa too was denied the permission and he too called this writer with a request to take up the matter with the higher authorities. No reason was given for keeping the two brothers out of an event, which the government was keen to publicise. The ministers had ventured to travel to Swat after a while in a bid to show that the valley was returning to normalcy after the announcement of Nizam-e-Adl Regulation.

It wasn’t the first time that Musa Khankhel had encountered problems in his dealings with the security forces and other stakeholders in Swat. Last year, he was manhandled by the men in uniform at the Circuit House in Saidu Sharif. Obviously, they weren’t happy with the reporting of the happenings in Swat by the headstrong Musa Khankhel.

He was a fearless man. All advice to him to take care of his security fell on deaf ears. Journalism for him was an addiction. He was so much committed to the profession that he used to live in his office and stay awake at night to transmit news of the latest happenings to his media organisation.

Musa Khankhel made many enemies during the course of his journalistic career. Anyone among them could have got him eliminated. The violence that affected every section of the population in Swat also took its toll on journalists. His family hasn’t blamed anyone for Musa Khankhel’s murder and, therefore, it would be unfair to name suspects or speculate about the killers. Though fair and proper investigations into his murder aren’t possible in Swat nowadays, one would expect the government to do its bit to expose and punish the murderers.

Just when everyone thought peace was finally returning to Swat, the first murder after the enforcement of the ceasefire was that of a journalist. And it happened to be Musa Khankhel, who undoubtedly was one of the most courageous reporters in Swat. (The News)


The curse of the breaking news culture and the never-ending greed of our media tycoons may also be taken into account in this and other sad incidents. I was reading this news item today, in which a journalist rep (Raiz Khan):

".... criticised the owners of media organisations, saying that the organisations did not arrange any training for journalists working in the conflict zone. Let alone their training, even appointment letters are not provided to the media men, he lamented. He said the organisations should immediately issue appointment letters to all the journalists working in the conflict zones, provide them proper salaries, give them life jackets, arrange life insurance for them and above all ensure a proper training for them."



Anonymous said...

This evil game started some 14oo yrs ago when this ideology came from saudi in the guise of religion of fear. Earlier this area was inhabited by peacefull hindus & buddhists, practising non voilence ... poor guys they understood the evility inherent in this book, they resisted, fought but could'nt saved their daughters & lands from being raped, many died, some moved eastwards & some agreed to follow this evility. Their worst fears are coming true, the ideology has turned the future generations of peace lovers into barbaric islamic /arabic slaves.

Wake up guys,
As the article says," Truth needs to be told" , read your history, read your book again & come back to humanity

Abdul said...

Anon: This might help.


Secret-Informer said...

By Delawar Jan

Musa Khankhel was accompanying the caravan of the Tanzim Nifaz Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) from Mingora to Matta to cover the crucial event that had created high hopes for peace in the valley. His young brother Isa Khankhel, who is also a journalist, told The News that he was in the line of his journalistic duty when some unknown persons kidnapped him at gunpoint.

“Musa was picked up at gunpoint from the rally,” Isa said, adding he had no idea who the perpetrators of the brutal killing were. A local journalist, Mehboob Ali, said other journalists returned from Matta town, but Musa preferred to stay there. “He was trying to get some information about the negotiations between the TNSM and the Taliban militants,” he added. However, Mehboob said it could not be ascertained as to who was accompanying the slain journalist. “Nobody saw him when he was being kidnapped, so it cannot be said who picked him up,” he added.

Musa’s bullet-riddled body was found in Dedpanai area, some four kilometres off Matta town, in the evening. √¨He received 12 bullets at feet, hands and head,” his brother told The News by telephone while weeping.

Musa had been receiving threats for the last several months but he had refused to bow to any pressure. His family said he was manhandled and intimidated several times. “I have been receiving death threats from a powerful force. They are after me. They want to kill me,” he had communicated his apprehensions to his organisation. His organisation also took up the issue of threats with the authorities from whom he was allegedly receiving the threats.

On Wednesday morning, he and his brother Isa were not allowed to cover the press conference of the NWFP Senior Minister Bashir Bilour at the Circuit House, which he instantly communicated to his office.

Inspector-General Police, NWFP, Malik Naveed, told Geo News that some foreign hand could be involved in the killing of Musa. Musa was born on Feb 4, 1981 in Mingora. He started work for The News several years ago while got associated with Geo News on May 21, 2007. He was single and had five brothers and three sisters.

The slain journalist was a brave reporter who continued his journalistic duty in the “valley of death” during escalated conflict and violence and faced all dangers fearlessly for the more than 20 months of turmoil. He did not leave Swat and preferred to inform Geo’s viewers and The News readers about the happenings in the valley.


Ghazala Khan said...

Interview Request:

Hello Dear and Respected,
I hope you are fine and carrying on the great work you have been doing for the Pakistani side of Internet. I am Ghazala Khan from The Pakistani Spectator (TPS), We at TPS throw a candid look on everything happening in and for Pakistan. We are trying to contribute our humble share in the blogistan.

We at TPS are carrying out a new series of interviews with the notable Pakistani bloggers, writers and web masters. In that regard, We would like to interview you, if you please take some time out of your busy schedule. Please send me your approval for your interview at ghazala.khi at gmail.com, so that I could send you the questions. We would be extremely grateful. We have done many interviews with many bloggers from Pakistan like Dr. Awab, Kashif Aziz, Fahd Mirza, Unaiza Nasim, Omer Alvi and host of others. We have also interviewed prominent figures like renowned writer Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa Agha, Dawn Columnist Urdsher Cowasjee and plethora of others.


Ghazala Khan
The Pakistani Spectator

AK said...

One Brave person! is not among the
fight of freedom and truth!


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