Press Statement

Pakistan: Senior journalist assassinated after leaving work in Sukkur

14 Aug, 2023

Senior journalist Jan Mohammad Mahar died after sustaining multiple shots fired from close range in a targeted attack in Sukkur, Sindh Province, on August 13. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), strongly condemns the brutal assassination and calls for an urgent investigation to bring his attackers to account.

According to reports, the senior journalist and Kawish Television Network (KTN) Sukkur bureau chief was shot several times after leaving the broadcaster’s offices after 9pm on August 13. A colleague said Mahar was inside his vehicle at the time he was fired upon by unidentified assailants who were riding on a motorbike. Mehar was initially taken to Civil Hospital before being transferred to a private medical facility where is died from his injuries.

Sukkur police are yet to file a First Information Report (FIR) relating to the case, with Sukkur Senior Superintendent of Police Singhar Malik alleging in interviews that the killing was related to a land dispute. Malik said police had cordoned off areas of the city and were reviewing CCTV footage. PFUJ is currently investigating the motive for the killing.

The IFJ’s South Asia Press Freedom Report 2022-2023, recorded at least 101 media rights violations in Pakistan. The IFJ verified cases of five journalists killed in the period May 1, 2022, and April 31, 2023. A further 30 attacks were recorded against journalists across metropolitan and rural areas.

The PFUJ said: “We demand the Provincial Government of Sindh and its inspector general of police to immediately arrest the killers and give compensation to the family of the killed journalist, Jan Muhammad Mahar.”

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “The IFJ strongly condemns this brutal and tragic killing and calls for a thorough and swift investigation to locate his killers and determine the motivation for this heinous crime.”

Written By

IFJ Asia-Pacific IFJ Asia-Pacific

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