Journalist Wali Khan Babar’s killer arrested

Kamran alias Zeeshan Shani was arrested during a joint operation

Faheem Siddiqui
Deceased journalist Wali Khan Babar. — CPJ

KARACHI: The killer of journalist Wali Khan Babar was arrested on Monday, said officials in a press conference.

Babar was gunned down in Liaquatabad area of Karachi on January 13, 2011, when he was returning home from the office.

Kamran alias Zeeshan Shani was arrested during a joint operation, said Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon, adding that Shani had opened fire on Babar.

Memon said that till 2015, four accused received life imprisonment in the case and another suspect Faisal Mota was arrested.

“Kamran was still at large and kept changing his hideouts and finally this morning, on the intelligence-based tipoff by a federal agency, our special investigation unit apprehended him with weapons,” said the police chief.

Memon said that Shani lived in several areas for five years and then shifted to Gulshan-e-Maymar area, where he was living with his family.

The police official said the culprit has informed them about four murder cases so far and they will seek more information from him.

Both Kamran alias Shani and Faisal Mota were involved in the murder so they received death sentences, he added.

The police official said that the case gained much highlight, as Babar was a crime reporter of Geo News and quite active in the field.

Initially, there were eight accused and among them was one identified as Liaquat Ali, who was killed in an encounter and could not be tried under the law.

Memon said that several witnesses were murdered, including Rajab Bengali, who was killed in 2011.

He gave example of another ‘star’ witness Haider Ali, on whose testimony the conviction took place. Ali was murdered in 2012.

Read more: Remembering Wali Khan Babar on his seventh death anniversary

Addressing media, PPP minister Nasir Hussain Shah said that the ruling party in the province believes in freedom of speech.

He said the government is taking action against the injustice that took place with journalists, no matter how old a case is.

“Journalist Aziz Memon’s murder case was solved and the people were arrested. I appreciate Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon, who solved the case and worked on this one as well,” he said. 

An anti-terrorism court in Kandhkot had announced death sentences for Kamran and Faisal Mehmood, alias Faisal Mota, in March 2014 in absentia and declared them as absconders in the murder case.

Faisal Mota was later arrested during a raid at the then MQM headquarters, Nine-Zero, in March 2015.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, "Babar was shot shortly after his story on gang violence aired on the country's most widely watched broadcaster, Geo TV."

Read more: On World Press Freedom Day, Geo honours reporters slain in the line of duty

Four witnesses for the case were killed during the years 2011-2012, while advocate Naimat Ali Randhawa was murdered in September 2013 at the time when he was acting as a special public prosecutor in the case.