In Pakistan, abducted journalist’s fellow hostage executed

May 3, 2010 2:41 PM ET

New York, May 3, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists expressed concern today after a militant group executed a former Pakistani intelligence official who was abducted along with documentary filmmaker Asad Qureshi.   

Khalid Khawaja, a retired Inter-Services Intelligence official, was found dead of multiple bullet wounds in North Waziristan on Friday, according to local and international news reports. Khawaja and another ex-intelligence official were accompanying Qureshi as guides when the three went missing on March 26.

Qureshi, a British citizen of Pakistani origin, was making his way to North Waziristan, in the tribal region that borders Afghanistan, where he planned to interview Taliban leaders, according to news reports.

A previously unknown group identifying itself as the Asian Tigers told local journalists that it had killed Khawaja because the government had not responded to its demands. The captors had earlier released videos of the three men accompanied by demands for $10 million and the release of Taliban prisoners.

The group did not release any new information about the remaining hostages, news reports said.

“The slaying of one of the hostages kidnapped with Asad Qureshi deepens our concern for his life,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ Asia program coordinator. “We urge the authorities to do their utmost to secure his safe release as soon as possible.”

Local and international reporters working in Pakistan and Afghanistan face an ever-growing risk of abduction from militant groups operating in the region, according to CPJ research. 

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