PPF remembers journalists killed in Quetta blast on their eighth death anniversary

On January 10, 2013 three media professionals cameraman Imran Shaikh, reporter Saif ur Rehaman from Samaa TV and Mohammad Iqbal, a photographer from NNI news agency, were killed. Rehman who was injured initially died later at a hospital from his injuries, while the other two died on site.

The journalists were reporting on an explosion that had occurred about a few minutes earlier, in Quetta, the capital of the Balochistan province of Pakistan. Many people were killed and injured including journalists with the explosion of second bomb blast

Three other media professionals including Iqbal’s brother Muhammad Hasan, who was also a journalist and a reporter for the Independent News Pakistan news agency, Acne Roger, a cameraman for Geo TV, and Jamal Ahmed, a satellite engineer for Samaa TV were injured.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a militant group, has claimed responsibility for the blasts.

PPF remembers the precious lives lost in the deadly blast. Such incidents highlight the need for field security and training for all media staffers.

Police said that more than 100 kg of explosives were used in the car bomb. Over 100 persons were killed and more than 200 injured in the blasts.

Shaikh left behind two daughters and a widow while Rehman left behind his wife and three sons. Iqbal was unmarried.

Wife of Imran Shaikh, Shazia Bano told PPF that she was watching television when she heard the news of the blast, it was common but she felt different that time suddenly, she heard the name of Imran with names of killed people. Shaikh used to say:  “My job is to inform citizens of Pakistan about the situation of the country and one day I will die for this cause” she remembered.

Imran was the bread winner for his family, his family is surviving with serious financial crisis. His wife is now working as a polio worker, and lives on rent.

Munir Jan, brother-in-law of Saif ur Rehman remembers him as a passionate journalist. He is happy for the support of Samaa Tv to the family for bearing the education expenses of Saif’s three sons, initial one year salary and compensatory amount which proves that the organization valued the sacrifice of Saif, he added.

Salman Ashraf, President Balochistan Union of Journalists advised journalists and media professionals to draw a yellow tape around minimum 500 yards from the spot in mind during coverage of any incident while talking to PPF.

Responsible journalism is more important than any freedom, coverage. Remember you all are just responsible to update other citizens about the incident, no close coverage of the incident is more important than your life, Salman added.

Salman also advised journalists to take the initial version on phone call and cameramen to use high quality cameras, by using such cameras you can use different tricks like zoom in and out to take footage.

Jamal Ahmed, journalist injured in a blast told PPF the suicide bomber came to the basement of a building housing a snooker club, in an area inhabited by the Hazara Shia community, and blew himself up at about 9:00 PM. A few minutes later his car, which was parked outside the building, was blown up remotely. As a result of that second blast his ear got serious injury, he was treated in Civil and Agha khan hospital, He rejoined channel after 10 days. He was happy that his organization supported him at that time, he is still working with Samaa TV.

Jalal Noorzai, bureau chief of Samaa News told PPF that both staffers were dutiful, Samaa TV remembers them.

The management of Samaa TV announced the awarding of Rs.1 million (approx. US$10,270) and one year’s salary for each bereaved family. The Government of Pakistan had also announced Rs.1 million for the bereaved families.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and journalists from all media organizations strongly condemned the killings of the journalists. PFUJ staged a countrywide protest on 11 January, 2013.