Our CorrespondentThursday, January 19, 2012 - Charsadda—The funeral prayers of senior tribal journalist, Mukarram Khan Atif, who was gunned down Tuesday by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) men, were offered on Wednesday in Shabqadar. Mukarram Khan Atif, hailing from Mohmand Agency, had relocated recently to the Shabqadar area of Charsadda district after receiving life threats from the insurgents and was killed in a mosque while offering prayers by insurgents on Tuesday.
After the attack, he was shifted to the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar where he was pronounced dead. Medics confirmed that Atif had received bullet injuries in his head while Imam of the mosque where the terrible incident occurred was also injured as one bullet pierced through the body of the deceased journalist hit the Imam identified as Nasruminallah.
During his 15-year career, Atif worked for several media organisations. Currently, he was working as correspondent for a Pakistani TV channel in Mohmand Agency and as a stringer for Voice of America (VOA)’s Pashto service ‘Deewa Radio’. He also remained President of the Mohmand Agency Press Club.
The banned TTP claimed responsibility for Atif’s murder. “We have been warning him to stop his propaganda against us in the foreign media. He did not include our version in his stories,” TTP spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan said in telephone calls to Peshawar-based journalists.
The spokesman warned that TTP has several more media-persons on their hit-list. The president, prime minister and journalist bodies strongly condemned the killing of the tribal journalist. Journalist body urged the government to take strict action against the killers.
It is pertinent to be mentioned here that TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud during an interview with the Norwegian TV channel warned the Pakistani journalists working with local and foreign media to abstain from propagating and spreading rumors against the Taliban otherwise they will chased and killed.
Tribal Union of Journalists president Safdar Dawar, condemning the killing of tribal journalist, said it is first time the Taliban have claimed responsibility for killing of a tribal journalist and others are on the hit-list.