November 6, 2000
His Excellency Gen. Pervez Musharraf
Chief Executive, Islamic Republic of Pakistan
General Headquarters, Pakistan Army
Via Facsimile: 92-51-922-4206
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is dismayed by the bomb attack earlier today on the Karachi advertising office of the national Urdu-language daily Nawa-i-Waqt, a newspaper known for its aggressive political coverage.
Three people were killed in the explosion, including Nawa-i-Waqt's advertising manager, Najamul Hasan Zaidi, and an unidentified woman believed to have been carrying the bomb when it detonated. The bomb caused extensive damage to the building, knocking down walls and parts of the roof, and shattering doors and windows, according to news reports.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, as is often the case in Pakistan. Including this incident, there have been 34 bomb attacks in Pakistan this year, according to the news agency Agence France-Presse.
Five years ago, on June 21, 1995, the same building was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade during a period of intense ethnic and sectarian violence in Karachi. At that time, the building, located on M.A. Jinnah Road, housed the editorial operations of the Nawa-i-Waqt newspaper group, which also publishes the English-language daily The Nation. Following the attack, the newspaper group moved its main offices to a safer location several miles away.
Government authorities have launched an initial investigation. CPJ strongly urges Your Excellency to ensure that this inquiry is vigorously pursued so that the perpetrators may be brought to justice. We respectfully ask you to keep us informed about the progress of the investigation.
Ann K. Cooper