Pakistani TV journalist Hamid Mir
Karachi, April 19 (PTI): Senior Pakistani TV journalist Hamid Mir, who faced threats from the Taliban, was today shot at in Karachi by four unidentified gunmen near a bridge on his way to office.
Mir, 47, sustained three bullet injuries in the lower part of his body after the shooting near Natha Khan bridge on his way to office from the airport. Mir was rushed to hospital where he was operated.
Karachi police chief Shahid Hayat said Mir was shot three time — one bullet piercing his intestine while the other two wounded his leg and pelvic area. He said Mir was now “out of danger”.
Geo TV reported that Mir, who was accompanied by his security guards, called his office to inform them about the attack.
According to Mir’s driver, as the car slowed down near the flyover, a gunman on a motorcycle opened fire. Without waiting for a second, the driver accelerated and sped away from the assailants. Geo News reported that the attackers, who were on a motorcycle and a car, followed them.
The driver drove straight to the hospital where Mir was admitted in a state of unconsciousness. The incident took place at 5.30pm (local time).
Geo News bureau chief Rana Jawad said Mir told him after being attacked that the gunmen were chasing him and continued to fire at the car.
A popular news anchor, terrorism expert and security analyst, Mir currently hosts the Capital Talk shows on Geo TV. In November 2012, a bomb was recovered from under his car which was believed to have been planted by the Pakistani Taliban.
Just last month, senior analyst Raza Rumi was shot at in Lahore that killed his driver.
The issue of security of media personnel was raised by the Committee to Protect Journalists, a media advocacy group, during a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif last month. Sharif had promised to take appropriate steps to ensure security of journalists in Pakistan.
“Shocked & saddened by attack on Hamid Mir in Karachi. Strongly condemn growing threats/attacks on journalists. Govt must ensure their safety,” Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan tweeted.
PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari tweeted, “Hamid Mir never steps back from speaking out.”