APRIL 14, 2005
Posted: April 27, 2005

Kamran Mumtaz, Daily Mashriq


A group of five armed men stormed into the office of the Daily Mashriq in the southwestern city of Quetta around 2:30 p.m. and assaulted Mumtaz, the editor, because of the newspaper’s allegedly biased reporting about a local political party.

The attackers identified themselves as being members of the Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP), and stormed past a security guard who tried to stop them, the state-run Pakistan Newswire reported. Two of the men stood guard while the three others forced their way into Mumtaz’s office where they punched the editor in the face with brass knuckles, according to the Pakistan Press Foundation, a local press freedom group. The armed men ransacked the office, threatened the staff, and directed them change their coverage of the JWP. The assailants took out a gun and aimed it at Mumtaz, but were scared off by security guards. Mumtaz received treatment at a local hospital.

A complaint was filed with local city police against the unknown gunmen. The JWP denied any involvement.

Local journalist groups and government officials condemned the attack and staged an April 18 protest calling for arrests of the assailants. Police clashed with some of the protesting journalists during the demonstration, the Pakistan Newswire reported. The journalists reported being blocked and manhandled as they marched through the streets of Quetta.