Newsman beaten up in Zhob; minister blamed for incident

QUETTA: A journalist who was beaten up on Saturday night in Zhob was admitted to the civil hospital here on Sunday for treatment.

Asad Khan Betini alleged that he was beaten up by a group of people at the behest of provincial Agriculture Minister Jaffar Khan Mandokhail because the latter wanted him to stop writing on corruption.

The journalist, who works for a private television channel, said he had been receiving threats for the last couple of months, but added that he could not stop writing against corruption.

Mr Betini said he was taken to the district hospital in Zhob where doctors treated him for his injuries and later referred him to the hospital in Quetta.

Mr Mandokhail denied the allegations.

“The allegations levelled against me by this journalist are wrong and baseless,” he told Dawn by phone from Zhob.

He said he was in active politics for more than two decades but nobody had accused him of such wrongdoing before. “These allegations are an attempt to blackmail me,” he claimed.

Mr Mandokhail, however, admitted that some of his supporters, who wanted the journalist to stop writing “baseless reports”, had exchanged harsh words with him. A clash also took place between his supporters and a group led by Mr Betini.

Dawn