KARACHI: Police in a raid on Sunday arrested three private security guards from a PML-F leader’s residence for assaulting Zubair Ashraf, a staffer of The Express Tribune.
According to SSP South Saqib Ismail Memon, the police raided Pir Yasir’s residence in the Defence Phase 8 area of Karachi. The suspects detained during the raid included Majnon, Ghulam Shabbir and Altaf Hussain. The police have also detained three police guards for questioning.
Ashraf was assaulted by the private guards when Pir Yasir’s convoy was crossing Korangi Road at around 7pm on Saturday
According to Ashraf, he along with his colleague photojournalist Athar Khan, were heading to the office pillion riding a motorcycle, when the rashly driven vehicles in the convoy of Shah tried to overtake all other motorists in front of the National Medical Centre (NMC) Hospital.
Many motorists, mostly motorcycle riders, narrowly escaped being hit by the escort vehicles, as they kept pushing everyone aside to secure Shah, who was driving the vehicle himself.
When riders tried to argue, the guards started threatening the public and a guard pointed a gun at Ashraf while another two started beating him with batons.
An FIR was also lodged against the PML-F leader later on Saturday night.
The PML-F Karachi chapter president has also admitted that the vehicle belonged to him and he was driving it.
Condemning the incident, Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb assured that the law will take its course in the torture of the staffer of The Express Tribune.
In a statement issued on Sunday, she said no form of hooliganism will be tolerated. “The government stands with the journalists’ community,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) and all journalist unions in the country condemned the assault on Ashraf and urged the government to arrest the culprits involved in the case.
PFUJ’s President Rana Muhammad Azeem, General Secretary G M Jamali; KUJ President Hassan Abbas and General Secretary Wajid Raza Isfahani; Hyderabad, Nawabshah, Sukkur, Rahim YAR Khan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Punjab, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Rawalpindi and Islamabad, Abbottabad, Gujrat, Faisalabad, Quetta and Bannu unions of journalists also condemned the incident.
PFUJ, in its statement, also lamented that despite an improvement in the city’s law and order there are some elements in the city openly displaying arms and resort to hooliganism. They added that such elements are threatening to disrupt the city’s improved law and order.
They also urged Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Sindh IG, home minister, DG Rangers and Karachi corps commander to take notice of the incident and expressed solidarity with Zubair Ashraf.
They also lamented that despite lapse of 24 hours the interior minister is yet to take notice of the incident.
The PFUJ and KUJ warned the Sindh government that such acts of hooliganism will not be tolerated and said that they will announce their future course of action in due course.