Killing of Pakistani journalist in Kenya was ‘targeted’ attack, minister says
By Iqtidar S. Qureshi
ISLAMABAD, March 18 (Reuters) – Police in Pakistan detained and shot dead a journalist who had been critical of local government and was detained in Kenya, the country’s interior minister said on Thursday.
Zahoor Zahoor, 28, was critical of the local government in his home town of Ghotki, who police had told him to leave.
The journalist, who worked at a newspaper, was accused of being part of a “terrorist group” and had been detained in the Kenyan capital with the intention of detaining him, Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan told reporters in Islamabad, adding that Pakistani authorities had “targeted” Zahoor.
Khan said Pakistan’s investigation was ongoing.
He said that “police had arrested Zahoor on the instructions of some people from local administration. They detained him in their custody for the purpose of trying him in court.”
Zahoor, on his way to Afghanistan to participate in a peace conference about the conflict there, was arrested on June 28, when he was on his way from Bajaur and Chaman to Karachi, Khan said.
The Ghotki police said they had been tipped off by Zahoor’s family.
On Thursday, police said Zahoor’s family had reported him missing and said he did not have any contact with them. Authorities have arrested his mother, sister and brother-in-law, the police officer told reporters.
An investigation was under way, he added.
Zahoor was one of the few journalists the Pakistan government allowed into the country during the 1990s. He was one of the first to criticise an abusive local government by writing about corruption and land grab in their town.
He started working for a newspaper in the town, the Dawn, and left after the local government decided to change the name of the town.
Khan said that Pakistan allows foreign journalists into the country for “security reasons for some people”. (Editing by Jason Neely)
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