PPF CONDEMNS DEATH THREATS TO NAWA-I-WAQT REPORTER BAKHTZADA KHAN; URGE AUTHORITIES TO TAKE ACTION
Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) strongly condemns the death threats to Nawa-i-Waqt reporter Bakhtzada Khan in Haripur city in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. It is imperative that authorities ensure the safety of the journalist by taking such threats seriously and ensuring action against the suspect.
On October 9, Khan, who is also the general secretary of the Haripur Union of Journalists, received death threats allegedly from a local drug dealer.
Speaking to PPF, Khan recalled that along with his brother, he was on his way from the office when the drug dealer allegedly threatened him at gunpoint and told him that if he continued to do what he was doing “your white clothing will soon turn red”.
Khan said that at this point he called his brother who was standing at a little distance. At this time, the suspect started his bike and fled from the scene.
According to the journalist, he was threatened by the drug dealer in response to a report in which he had pointed out the unchecked sale of the drug ice (crystal meth) in Pandak, a village, and another report in which he had reported on drug addiction in universities and colleges.
Khan said that while he had not mentioned any names in the report they were related to the accused.
Nawa-i-Waqt Editor Hanif Raja told PPF that Khan had informed them of the threats and they were looking into the matter.
On October 10, Khan registered a First Information Report (FIR), a criminal complaint, against the drug dealer. He added that the District Police Officer (DPO) Imran Shahid had taken action and police were investigating the case.
Speaking to PPF, Shahid said that a case had been registered against the accused under Section 341 and Section 506 of the Pakistan Penal Code. He added that the police were trying to arrest the suspect and the matter would become clear following his arrest.
Haripur Union of Journalists President Yasir Amin demanded the immediate arrest of the accused for the safety of the journalist and said that Khan had covered a story against the drug dealer due to which he was threatened.