Wali Khan Babar

Published on by KHAWAJA UMER FAROOQ

Wali Khan Babar (UrduPashtoوالی خان بابر‎; April 5, 1982[2] – January 13, 2011) was a Pakistani journalist working for GEO News who was killed by gunmen in the Liaquatabad area of Karachi. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Babar was the first journalist it had confirmed killed in a work-related death in 2011. Pakistan was the deadliest country for journalists in 2010.

Career 

Babar briefly joined GEO English in 2007 before moving to the mainstream GEO News channel in 2008.[2] He was active in the journalism field for four years.[3]

Political affiliation 

Wali Khan Babar was an ex-provincial leader and lifelong worker of PSF (Pukhtun Student Federation).,.[4][5]

Investigations 

From April 2011 till November 2012, various media outlets reported that all five eyewitnesses to the investigation of Babar's case had been murdered in cold blood one by one. The victims included two policemen, a brother of one police officer and an informer linked to developments in the case. All had been shot dead, mostly in drive-by shootings.[6] The Last victim of the cold blooded had already identifies 4 out of 5 murderers of Wali Khan Babar and was called out and shot dead outside his home.[7]

Reactions 

he was buried aimed protest organized by journalist, PkMAP and ANP workers and addressed by Sheikh Mohammad Yar Khan Mandokhail, Hafeez hazrath gul and others. Journalists in other parts of the country also staged demonstrations, including outside the Karachi Press Club; in Peshawar, gatherings were organised outside the Peshawar Press Club and in Peshawar Cantonment.[8] Scores of protesters expressed anger .[3] In the meantime, the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors termed Wali Khan as a "Martyr of Journalism."[9] The Pashtun Awami National Party announced a three-day mourning period while the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) declared a black day during which black flags were hoisted above media centers, press clubs and journalist offices.[9] In a related development, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan called Babar's killing a "premeditated murder."[10]
The killing was condemned by President Asif Ali Zardari, interior minister Rehman Malik and Pakistan Muslim League (N) leaders Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi. In a separate statement, former cricketer and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan expressed his condolences and questioned the government's seriousness over addressing target killings.[11] The Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ordered a judicial inquiry following the news.[12] An FIR was accordingly filed by the police to investigate the murder.[13] A special segment was presented on his killing in Hamid Mir's current affairs program Capital Talk.
On World Press Freedom Day, 2011, participants of a forum at the National Press Club and Newseum in Washington, D.C., called attention to world governments who licensed in order to punish news organizations that were critical of the government, as was the case for Pakistan that had used licensing to punish Geo News, for which Wali Khan had worked.[14]

Personal life 

Wali Khan was an ethnic Pashtun belonging to the Babar tribe. He hailed from the town of Zhob in Balochistan and was a vocal critic of the state's policies pertaining to the Balochistan conflict.[15]
He held a Masters' degree in international relations[16] from the University of Karachi.[1]
Before his death, he resided in Karachi's North Nazimabad suburb.[3]
He left behind a widow mother, three sisters and four brothers.
His body was buried in Zhob, his hometown.

Perpetrators[edit]

On 26 May 2012, news reports emerged that a primary suspect accused in Babar's murder had been killed during a police encounter with robbers in the Seaview area of Clifton, Karachi. The man was identified as Liaqat Ali. According to the police, Liaqat's car had been used in the shooting of Wali Khan Babar.[17] Liaqat was with a gang of armed robbers at the time he was killed in the police encounter.
Accused Killer Liaqat Ali was a Target Killer of Mutahidda Quomi Movement (Party leaded by Altaf Hussain living in LONDON, UK) and belong to Terrorist Wing of MQM responsible for Murders, Kidnapping and Robbery.
The police's encounter with the suspect was controversial. The family of Liaquat Ali claimed that police encounter was an extrajudicial killing. According to his family, Liaqat recently arrived home on Friday from Punjab. He was arrested in the vicinity of Gulshan-e-Iqbal. According to his family, the police first took him to the highway and then told him to run, they then shot him and his acquaintance in the back, and let them to die before getting them to hospital. The cause of death was excessive bleeding.[18]
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