Bomb blast kills KPC President on World Press Freedom Day

Bomb blast kills KPC President on World Press Freedom Day
The vehicle of Khuzdar Press Club (KPC) President Maulana Muhammad Siddique Mengal that was targeted in a bomb blast on Friday. Courtesy: Dawn NewsTV

KHUZDAR/QUETTA: Khuzdar Press Club president Siddiqullah Mengal, who was also a JUI-F leader, lost his life in a car bombing that also killed two brothers and left seven others injured, on Friday.
Police said a magnet bomb was attached to the door of Mr Mengal’s car while he was driving to Khuzdar Engineering Uni­ver­sity to give Friday sermon. Mr Mengal was alone in the car when the bomb was detonated apparently with a remote-control device on Sultan Ibrahim Khan Road, senior police officer Ghulam Mustafa Rind told media.
Among nine passersby who were injured in the explosion, two died while being shifted to Karachi for treatment. Seven others were admitted to Khu­zdar Teaching Hospital, police said.
According to Mr Rind, some motorcyclists atta­ched the magnet bomb to the moving car and sped away. Shortly afterwards, the bomb exploded, he said.
The press club president, who was deputy emir of JUI-F in Balo­chistan, had survived a gun attack on his car last year. Acco­rding to his close friends, Mr Mengal had received threats through letters and phone, and he had informed about them to the authorities concerned.
He was an active journalist associated with local newspapers, published in Quetta. The two other victims were later identified as Mohammad Waris Sasoli and his brother Mohammad Karim Sasoli. No one has claimed responsibility for the bomb attack.
The BUJ staged a protest demonstration in front of the Quetta Press Club where BUJ president Khalil Ahmed, general secretary Abdul Shakoor, and human rights activists Jalila Haider and Fareed Shahwani among others spoke.
CM Sarfraz Bugti orders inquiry, arrest
Meanwhile, Balochistan chief minister, Mir Sarfraz Ahmed Bugti, Home Minister Ziaullah Langove, former chief minister and PPP leader Nawab Sanaullah Zehri, and others strongly condemned the attack and expressed their sorrow and grief over the tragic incident.
CM Bugti directed the officials concerned to submit an investigation report and arrest those elements involved in the attack on the journalist.
“The elements involved in the incident cannot escape from the grip of the law,” he said, adding that restoring peace and security and protecting people’s lives and property were their responsibility. He said security forces with the support of the people would foil all nefarious designs of anti-peace elements.
BUJ president Khalil Ahmed condemned the brutal murder and asserted that such acts severely undermine press freedom and democracy.
He urged prompt and thorough investigations to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice and stressed the need for enhanced safety measures for journalists in the region and beyond.
The BUJ held a protest demonstration to observe World Press Freedom Day outside the Quetta Press Club and announced three days of mourning to protest the tragic loss of the senior journalist.
They hoisted a black flag on the Quetta Press Club building. Among those present were representatives from various segments of society, including lawyers, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, the People’s Students Forum, Civil Society, and journalists.
“The provincial government’s failure to safeguard the lives of journalists, who bravely pursue truth despite grave risks, is unacceptable,” said a representative of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, highlighting the pivotal role journalists play in upholding democracy and freedom of expression.
He stressed the importance of ensuring journalists’ safety and their right to report freely without fear of reprisal or censorship. “Countless journalists in Balochistan have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty,” he noted.
Advocate Jalila Haider, a member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, echoed the call for solidarity and support for journalists globally. Fareed Shahwani, representing civil society, also emphasised the importance of truth and transparency in reporting and urged the government to ensure protection of journalists.

Source: Reports

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