Monday Oct 30 2017

Investigators examine CCTV footage as hunt for Noorani's attackers under way

Journalist Ahmed Noorani in hospital. Photo: Geo News 

ISLAMABAD: The investigation team probing the attack on journalist Ahmed Noorani is sifting through the CCTV footage of the incident and has also sought the help of the Federal Investigation Agency and the National Database and Registration Authority. 

Noorani, a senior reporter with The News, was critically injured after he was attacked by unidentified assailants on Friday near Zero Point.

Following the incident, the prime minister had formed a two-member committee comprising the commissioner and the capital's police chief, Inspector General (IG) Khalid Khattak. 

After that, a five-member investigation team was formed, supervised by Special Branch Additional IG Capt (retd) Ilyas, that will submit a daily progress report to the commissioner and IG.

The team has also been empowered to consult all law enforcement and intelligence agencies to assist in their probe. At present, the team is going through footage of cameras from the Safe City Project. 

The commissioner has given investigators the orders to nab the attackers at all costs. 

Noorani has been discharged after being treated in the intensive care unit of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences. Doctors have advised complete rest for the senior journalist. 

Noorani's car, driven by his driver, was stopped on Khayaban-e-Suharwardy near Zero Point by three men travelling on a motorcycle. 

The attackers got down from their unmarked motorcycle after chasing down Noorani's car while three more of their accomplices, who were standing where the car was stopped with another unmarked motorcycle, joined in and severely beat up Noorani and his driver with iron rods after throwing out the keys from the ignition.

The incident prompted condemnations from noted political and social figures, and media representatives.

DG Inter-Services Public Relations Major General Asif Ghafoor also condemned the incident. 

Pakistan's permanent representative to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi and Nobel laureate Malala Yousufzai were also among the ones who denounced the cowardly act.

Journalist bodies condemned the incident and called for a thorough probe into the incident. 

Senators express solidarity with journalists 

The Senate session on Monday was suspended for five minutes to express solidarity with Noorani and other journalists.

While condemning the incident, Senate Chairperson Raza Rabbani said it was an attack on the freedom of journalism.

However, he added, the Parliament would not let hindrances come in the way of the freedom of journalism. The Senate chairperson said Parliament would safeguard journalism just like it protects its autonomy.

Rabbani said he would send the issue to the committee on interior and ask a report to be prepared within 20 days. Moreover, he added, the government will soon present a bill in the Parliament on the safety of journalists.