Ex-PEMRA chairman Absar Alam shot near his residence in Islamabad

Ex-PEMRA chairman Absar Alam shot near his residence in Islamabad

Senior journalist and former chairman of the Pakistan Electronic Media Authority (Pemra) Absar Alam was shot near his residence in Islamabad on Tuesday.

In a video statement, which doing rounds on social media, the journalist while apparently being taken to hospital can be heard saying that he was attacked while walking outside his home.

Absar said that he suffered injuries to his ribs.

In a message to the unidentified attackers the former Pemra chief said: “I won’t be scared by such tactics and I won’t give up.”

Taking notice of the incident, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid has directed Inspector General of Police Islamabad to arrest the culprits at the earliest.

In a statement, he said the assailants cannot escape the law and they will soon be arrested.

Information Minister Fawad Chauhdry also condemned the attack on Absar Alam.

In a tweet, he said police have been ordered to look into the matter and all detail in this regard will be shared with the media.

Soon after the shooting incident, the Islamabad police chief constituted a special team under the command of SSP Investigation to probe the matter from all aspects.

“The team has been directed to use all scientific and forensic methods to trace the accused involved in the incident,” it said in a tweet.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice-President Maryam Nawaz assailed the attack, saying: “Silencing the voice of dissent is a cancer that has plagued this country for many years. Absar Alam Sahab is the latest victim of this cruel & barbaric crime.”

Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AMEND) strongly condemned the attack on former chairman Pemra and demanded government to arrest the culprits.

The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) assailed the incident saying: “It is time that the rulers should seriously ensure the freedom of information and expression.Because it is the only way to bring sanity to a divided polity and nation.”

Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) in a statement said Absar is said to be in a stable condition after the attack and demanded authorities to take stern action against the perpetrators of the attack.

“Attacks on journalists have become a routine matter and many journalists have been martyred, but the government has failed to provide security to journalists despite repeated calls,” it added.