Pakistani Journalist Kamran Shafi Threatened, Shot At

Dec 2nd, 2009 | By | Category: Uncategorized
Pakistani Journalist and Military Veteran Kamran Shafi

Pakistani Journalist and Military Veteran Kamran Shafi

In more evidence of the growing threat to free media in Pakistan, veteran journalist Kamran Shafi’s house was strafed with gunfire over the weekend.

The shooting comes after repeated threats to Mr. Shafi’s life by telephone and warnings to him not to continue writing about security in Pakistan.

Police report that they have made no headway in identifying the shooters or those threatening Mr. Shafi. The woman caller, according to Mr. Shafi, spoke in broken Urdu.

Most troubling about this attack is that, when the shooter let loose a hail of bullets on Mr. Shafi’s home, he was celebrating Eid holiday with his wife and daughter who could have been killed in the attack. This demonstrates that not only are these killers intending to silence free and open media discussion in Pakistan, they are willing to commit the most devious of murders to get their way.

In addition to the obvious threats to the journalist and freedom of the media in Pakistan, this incident has not gone unnoticed in the international media and serves as an embarrassment for Pakistan.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, which has already condemned Pakistani newspaper The Nation for endangering the life of an American journalist, wrote that this is evidence of Pakistan’s media environment deteriorating:

“CPJ condemns this attack on such a prominent Pakistani journalist,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ Asia program coordinator. “Pakistan’s media environment is declining rapidly as a consequence of the political and military strife erupting under the government of President Asif Ali Zardari. Local and foreign journalists are coming under threat from all sides to the country’s many conflicts. Increasingly, Pakistan’s free press is under a threat almost as menacing as that under former president Pervez Musharraf ,” added Dietz.

I have written before about how threatening journalists threatens press freedom. Then, I was writing about Ahmed Quraishi’s dismissal of concerns about the safety of American journalist Matthew Rosenberg. But as the attempted murder of Kamran Shafi clearly proves, it is not just American journalists whose lives are increasingly in danger.

A free and unbiased media is the cornerstone to a healthy and stable democracy. By threatening journalists, the people involved in this incident have proven themselves to be enemies of our democracy. By using violence to try to intimidate and threaten innocent people, they have proven themselves to be nothing but terrorists.

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  1. I am shocked at the attack on Kamran’s house. This will not silence him & others who love Pakistan, South Asia & the world

  2. […] has seen an alarming rise in attacks on journalists. These attacks range from the active – people shooting at reporters for what they write – to the more passive – making accusations that put reporters’ lives at risk. […]

  3. […] 2009, Kamran Shafi’s home was strafed with gunfire after he was warned not to report about security agencies. In 2010, Umar Cheema was abducted and […]

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