New York, January 13, 2016–The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns a grenade attack on the Islamabad offices of Pakistani broadcaster ARY News today. A video editor, Umar Hayat, was wounded in the attack, and windows at the front of the building were damaged when two men on motorcycles threw a grenade at the offices, Ammad Yousaf, senior vice president of the privately owned station, told CPJ.
“We call on Pakistani authorities to conduct a thorough and prompt investigation into the attack on ARY News and to hold those responsible to account,” said CPJ Asia Program Coordinator Bob Dietz. “This brazen act in Pakistan’s capital against a major media house underscores the dangers everywhere in the country for journalists, from small towns to Islamabad. Authorities’ failure to address the entrenched impunity in anti-press violence enables attack after attack.”
The militant group Islamic State Wilayah Khurasan, which claims allegiance to Islamic State, claimed responsibility for the attack in pamphlets thrown outside the office, according to reports. Copies of the pamphlets, written in English and Urdu and shared with CPJ, warned the broadcaster about its coverage of the Pakistani military offensive against militants in the North Waziristan tribal region, and accused it of covering up “destruction and massacres” allegedly by the army. Police said they are investigating. Attacks of this nature in the capital, Islamabad, are less common compared to many other Pakistani cities, CPJ research shows.