Senior Journalist Mahmood Afridi Gunned Down in Kalat

balochistan-pakistanThe Baloch Hal News 

KALAT: The president of the Kalat Press Club and senior reporter, Mahmood Afridi, was shot dead by unidentified people on Friday evening, officials confirmed.

According to the details, Mahmood Afridi, the Kalat correspondent of the Hub-based Urdu daily, Intekhab, was gunned down in Kalat’s Old Bazaar. He was ambushed by the attackers near the local bus station. The attackers managed to escape while authorities said they were hunting for the killers.

Mr. Afridi also worked with a private news channel, News One.  He used to regularly contribute a political diary in Daily Intekhab highlighting the local political, economic and social issues. He had interviewed several top government and opposition leaders.  He was ranked among some of the best district correspondents in Balochistan for the fine work he did while covering his troubled district.

No group has accepted responsibility for the killing nor could it be confirmed whether or not Mr. Afridi had previously received threats from any quarters in the recent past. In Balochistan, journalists say they face threats from the government, underground pro-government death squads, Baloch nationalists, sectarian groups and local gangs. Both sides had been accused in the past for killing journalists.

Mr. Afridi is the fourth media personnel from Balochistan to be killed this year. Earlier, on January 3, three media personnel, including a reporter, a press photographer and a cameraman, were killed in Quetta city in a massive blast that killed more than one hundred people.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (C.P.J.) has described Balochistan as the ‘epicenter of violence’ against journalists within Pakistan.

Published in The Baloch Hal on March 1, 2013