Zaman Mehsud
Zaman Mehsud

Senior tribal journalist Zaman Mehsud was killed when unidentified gunmen opened fire on him in Tank district of Khyber Pahktunkhwa.

TTP Commander of splinter group Qari Saifullah alias Geelaman Mehsud claimed credit for killing Zaman Mehsud in Tank, saying Zaman was not giving coverage to Taliban news. Geelaman threatened to kill more journalists because they don’t give coverage to stories of Taliban.

Zaman was riding a motorcycle in Dibra area of Tank when he was attacked by the gunmen. He was shot five times, police told.

Zaman was critically injured by the firing, and was taken to the District Headquarters Hospital in Dera Ismail Khan where he succumbed to his wounds.

Zaman Mehsud was a senior journalist who also served as the president and secretary general of the Tribal Union of Journalists’ South Waziristan chapter.

The journalist worked with Daily Ummat, Daily Nai Baat, TV channel Neo and a human rights organization from South Waziristan FATA.

Tribal Union of Journalists, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Association of Journalists and other media persons condemned the killing.

“We are the real sources of news and information and have influence around the world, but if we annoy either side, we may be killed,” Zaman Mehsud

Zaman’s killing comes a day after media workers in Pakistan and the rest of the world observed the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on November 2.

Pakistan is considered amongst the most dangerous countries of the world for journalists and ranks as the fifth worst in terms of the number of unresolved cases of violence against journalists.

More than 70 journalists and media workers have lost their lives since 2001 while pursuing their duties in Pakistan – 47 of whom were deliberately targeted and murdered for practicing their profession.

In the past decade, over 700 journalists have been killed around the world merely for doing their job. Recent years have been worse, with 2012 and 2013 ranking amongst the most brutal years for journalists.