On August 29, 2008, a journalist working for local dailies Azadi and Khabarkar, Abdul Aziz Shaheen, was killed in an attack by jet fighters on a Taliban hideout, where he was being held by the Taliban, in the Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The 35 year old journalist left behind a wife, three sons and a daughter.
Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) commemorates the life of the late journalist lost in an airstrike after being kidnapped by the Taliban.
Thirteen years later, speaking to PPF, Shaheen’s son Inayatullah recalled that his father had no personal conflicts with anyone. He said that as a journalist his father worked for Azadi where he used to report on the activities in the area especially about the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
No First Information Report (FIR) was registered.
In August 2008, Shaheen had gone to the Peuchar area of Tehsil Matta of Swat to investigate who was responsible for setting his car on fire a week earlier. As he was talking to local people, the local Taliban kidnapped him and imprisoned him in a private Taliban jail.
A spokesman for the Taliban, Muslim Khan, had told media that the compound where Shaheen was detained was attacked by a jet fighter and the journalist was among more than 20 people reportedly killed in the attack.,
His colleagues had said Shaheen was a brave and bold journalist and the Taliban were angered by the many reports that he had written about their activities.
Recalling the slain journalist, Azadi Chief Editor Mumtaz Ahmed told PPF that the Taliban had kidnapped Shaheen because of the stories he wrote which were about Taliban groups. Shaheen reported on all their activity in the Matta area where he used to live.
Ahmed said that Shaheen had strong opinions about the TTP and had a vast knowledge about their activities. He said that a TTP commander had threatened him several times before the one day that he was kidnapped and imprisoned by them when an airstrike struck and he was killed.
A close friend of Shaheen’s, Zubair, recalled that the late journalist was very enthusiastic and dedicated to his work. Zubair said that an FIR had not been registered as Shaheen died in the armed forces operation.
Swat Press Club President Fayyaz Zaffar told PPF that Shaheen’s death was due to his work which involved writing about the TTP who kidnapped him which led to his eventual death in the airstrike.
Pakistan Press Foundation