Pakistan Press Foundation Condemns Killing of Khuzdar Press Club President; Demands Urgent Investigation and Accountability


Islamabad: The Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) expressed its shock and outrage at the targeted killing of Khuzdar Press Club President Maulana Muhammad Siddique Mengal in an attack by a magnet bomb in Balochistan’s Khuzdar district on May 3. This heinous act, occurring on World Press Freedom Day, is a stark reminder of the grave dangers faced by journalists in Pakistan.

Siddique, a journalist working for daily BaKhabar and  for a news agency Independent News Pakistan (INP), was killed while en route to Friday prayers. The attack also left nine others injured including a policeman. The injured were shifted to Khuzdar Teaching Hospital. Later, two of the injured died during treatment.

Reports indicated that the bomb was planted within Siddique’s vehicle. Footage shared online shows terrorists planting the bomb on Mengal’s car. In the footage, an explosion can also be seen as soon as the terrorist reaches a short distance from the vehicle.

Balochistan Union of Journalists President Khalil Ahmed told PPF that the precarious situation faced by journalists in Khuzdar cannot be overlooked, and immediate steps must be taken to ensure their safety and protection.

 Khuzdar Press Club General Secretary Muhammad Iqbal Mengal denounced the attack as a deliberate and targeted assault, highlighting the lack of security measures despite previous threats against Siddique. He stressed the importance of holding the perpetrators accountable and establishing robust protection mechanisms to prevent such tragedies in the future.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Minister for Information and Broadcasting Attaullah Tarar have expressed deep sorrow over Siddique’s demise, acknowledging his significant contribution to journalism in Balochistan. They have pledged government commitment to eliminate terrorism and ensure justice for the victims of the blast.

PPF demands that the authorities conduct a swift, thorough, and transparent investigation into the incident and bring the perpetrators to account. Failure to do so not only undermine press freedom but also perpetuates a culture of impunity where journalists live under constant threat. We also remind the authorities of the unresolved 2023 attack on Siddique’s life. The failure to investigate that incident properly and provide security undoubtedly emboldened the attackers responsible for his death.

On August 11, 2023, Siddique narrowly escaped an attempt on his life when two unidentified assailants opened fire on his car. Despite filing a First Information Report (FIR), no substantial security measures were implemented, and justice remains elusive.

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