Murders of journalists such as Wali Khan Babar give Pakistani journalists plenty of reason to fear. (AP/Mohammad Sajjad)

From Karachi to New York: A tale of fear, loss, and hope

By Bob Dietz/CPJ Asia Program Coordinator on October 25, 2011 3:27 PM ET

On Monday, a well-known Pakistani journalist came to our office in New York. We had been messaging and texting for a few weeks, so I knew what to expect. Despite the harsh reality check that CPJ's Sheryl Mendez and I offered during our 90-minute meeting, he is going ahead with the process of applying for asylum in the United States. "I would rather live as a poor man in a mud hut than as a king in a castle who feared for his life," he told us. It sounded like a line he had prepared to convince us, and perhaps himself, that he was doing the right thing.

He won't be living in a mud hut, but he and his wife and children are in a small apartment in the New York borough of Queens, where many other Pakistanis have settled as they try to climb the increasingly precarious American economic ladder.  It's a far cry from the comfortable, two-car compound life he was leading in Karachi.

I've been in these sorts of meetings many times, as has Mendez, who works in our Journalist Assistance program. We told him several times that he may find little satisfaction here in the United States, that his upward arcing career will likely collapse, and that the financial foundation that gave his family a good life in Pakistan will erode during an application process that could last a few years.

I was filled with emotion hearing him describe his wife's legitimate concerns for his safety and that of his family's. He detailed his talks with Pakistani colleagues, many of whom I know well, about the wisest path for him to take. He said many counseled him to leave the country. My advice--go back, change cities, keep a lower profile--rang hollow to him. "What should I do: Not report what I know just to stay safe?" he asked. What could I say? Ignore your wife? Live in fear? Corrupt your journalism? At the end of the 90 minutes I told him I would write about our meeting, but I promised I would not reveal his identity in case he did decide to go back.

This man feared for his life at the hands of the MQM, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. The MQM is Pakistan's third-largest political party, and is considered the country's largest secular political party, with Karachi and the Sindh region its base. Locked in political turf wars in Karachi, party operatives have been threatening journalists for years. Much attention has been paid to the possible involvement of government intelligence agencies in the death of Saleem Shahzad in May and the roadside beating of Waqar Kiyani in June, but the MQM also figures to be a prime suspect in numerous attacks on the press this year.

According to the newsroom colleagues of Geo TV reporter Wali Khan Babar, MQM gunmen killed him in a drive-by shooting in January. And journalists have little doubt that Faisal Qureshi, who wrote for the stoutly anti-MQM London Post website, was killed in his home by an MQM hit squad on October 7.

When I visited Karachi in April and May this year, staffers at the small Metro TV station said the MQM was at the top of a short list of suspects in the attempted murder of Metro reporter Naveed Kamal in April. He survived a bullet through his jaw. Kamal told me he wasn't sure who was behind the shooting, which came shortly after he aired a story about various groups flying flags over Karachi neighborhoods, staking out political turf. 

It goes without saying, given the near perfect impunity with which journalists are killed in Pakistan, that very little of substance, beyond the showcase arrests of a few MQM underlings in Babar's case, has occurred in the investigations into these attacks.

The journalist who came to our office says he is going ahead with the asylum application, although we gave him pause for thought. He left with the paperwork in his hands. It was a hard meeting, and I rode down with him in the elevator and out the front door of our building. Out on 7th Avenue we shared the firm handshake that goes with these sorts of fraught decisions. It was a turning point in his life.

This intelligent, successful reporter could find no other way to stay safe and alive other than to uproot his family, end his career, and flee the land of his birth. He sees no government agency in Pakistan that can protect him, no group of friends well connected enough to intervene on his behalf, no employer who can keep him safe and gainfully employed.

What will stop others with equally legitimate fears from doing the same?


Bob, this is not all about legitimacy of fears. Your enemy doesn't ever care how fair you are or how unfair the enemy is. It is not only about giving up a fantastic career but it is perhaps the last choice for many people in Pakstan who even do not get protection from the government and justice from the courts.

If you would like to seek an asylum in USA then to make stories like this is the easiest thing and nothing new. It is very easy to blame MQM for the violence in Karachi because allegations are more openly accepted in the country like Pakistan where you have no justice system but in the modern country like USA, allegations are baseless until and unless they are proved by the strong justice system.
I am surprised that this Blog by Bob Dietz is nothing but serious allegations on MQM, Pakistan's 3rd largest political party and only representative force of poor and middle class people in the legislative assemblies of Pakistan.
MQM has been the recipient of state violence for last 20 years and thousands of its workers and supporters were extra judicially

I find this piece amusing. A journalist with no link with Pakistan accuses or rather frames a party on the basis of what he 'heard' during a trip to Karachi. Hats off to impartial journalism.

After reading this article I fully agreed sometimes Journalism is organized gossip. After listened to a single person and write against the political party which represents millions of people it is ridiculous. Bob you had mentioned about this person that he is going ahead with the process of applying for asylum in the United States. On behalf of story he will get asylum. His personal interest his involve how did you believe him? Did you ask any single reason why did MQM kill Wali Babar? It is said that Babar spoke of social issues in many of his reports and just before he was killed, he had covered an operation against drug traffickers in the city's Pehalwan Goth neighborhood.
The famous Pakhtun group in Gulistan Johar is behind the target killing of Wali Khan Babar,
Wali Khan Brother statement:
Murtaza Khan Babar, the victim’s brother, told The Express Tribune that He is disappointed with the reaction from the ‘leaders’ of the Pakhtuns. “They used to first sell water and petrol and now they are selling our blood,” he said, adding that none of them had come to even condole.

MQM is the only political party who challenged Pakistan's ruling mafia.This ruling mafia is afraid of MQM popularity among 98% poor and middle class people especially in Punjab,so to stop common citizens of pakistan from joining MQM this ruling mafia uses evry mean from state machinery's (police, rangers, army)to print and electronic media to portray MQM as criminals party.
Bob, besides knowing the truth (statements of EX-intelligence chiefs,election results,Faisal Qureshi article against Nawaz Sharif / wali khan corruption, etc) you only represent the views of 2% corrupt ruling elite class which is yellow journalism.

Seems like, "even if no one is seemed involve, MQM is involved" theory of Pakistani establishment is working in writing this story :)

Having seen MQM 'workers'/'members' walking around the Karachi streets with AK47s a few times on live TV (which is a rarity since journalist now prefer not showing any anti MQM content on their shows), Having heard from my Karachi resident freiends who have had first hand encounters during the forced 'strikes' announced by MQM, where MQM gun-laided members forcefully shut down any shops, send people back to their homes (when people try to leave for work in the mornings on strike days) - I'd say this journalist is pretty much right about his fears.

Living in a country where 'democratic' parties are run by gun-laided goons, where the leaders of such parties are jokingly and shockingly running their parties from Abroad (MQM's leader Altaf Hussain hasn't visited pakistan in over a decade iirc) - Yet pakistanis are fools enough to elect such people again and again (sometimes at gun point on polling stations [if you happen to live in a MQM area])

- long live(pakisatni) democracy! ha! , i mish Presiden Musharraf already.

Bob, what are the sources of your information? This appears to me a non-researched piece of write-up which leads your reader to a dead end. The points you have raised are already published by cheep newspapers know for yellow journalism in Pakistan. Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry has recently clear all charges of Wali Khan Babar from MQM as he did not even pay attention to the presented JIT report. I am surprised to see such a lousy article which certainly damages your credibility.

It is commonly known that Wali Khan Babar was not a crime reporter. He used to cover domestic public issues such as Power crises and load shedding etc. It was the first crime report he covered the day he was killed and the reason was his lack of experience. He unfortunately exposed the name of a famous Land and Drug Mafia head Mudassir Bangash in his last report. Mudassir Bangash is known as "CHIELF" and he belongs to ANP (Awami National Party). In his last report, Wali Khan Babar also showed ANP leaders arrested during the policies operation against mafias. Even Karachi chief of police, Saud Mirza, admitted in a press conference that “Wali Khan Babar was killed for his daring reporting about target killers, land grabbers and drug peddlers”. Everyone in Pakistan knows who is actually involved in drug trafficking and land grabbing in Karachi.

Wali Khan Babar have had close relations with MQM leaders and he used to openly discussed and appreciated MQM’s philosophy with his close friends. Murtaza Khan Babar, the victim’s brother, says He is disappointed with the reaction from the ‘leaders’ of the Pakhtuns. “They used to first sell water and petrol and now they are selling our blood,” none of them had come to even condole.

A video link provided below can easily tell the whole story. Please note the name of Chief Sahab @1:53 which probably becomes the reason of Wali Khan Babar's killing. The video is in Urdu but you can have it translated from your sources.
Youtube Link:

Hi Bob,
Your blind faith on unknown journalist from Pakistan is really impressive but at the same time You guttered your name, career, credibility and education for this unknown Pakistani journalist. I dont see any reference or evidence against MQM(Pakistan's third-largest political party)in your article except one interview quote from Naveed Kamal in which he said "he wasn't sure who was behind the shooting".

Bob, next time you need to be careful regrading your sources, evidences or resources. Write what you know and ignore what you heard from unknown(s) or even your banded brothers.

Exaggeration of every kind is as essential to journalism as it is to dramatic art, for the object of journalism is to make events go as far as possible.
Enough of hulaballu and brouhaha by you and your kind Mr.Blogger, on this Wali Babar.
What stops your pen to jot down a few lines for those innocent souls of Orangi ? huh …!
Are they the children of a lesser God or is your part of Karachi is too far away to hear the wailings of widowed women and orphaned children ?
Journalism is organized gossip, please refrain from commenting on selected and untrue topics. Journalism is also the ability to meet the challenge of filling space but perhaps you can find a more decent topic to fill up space.

This article is simply not true. I am also a resident of Karachi, and I have many friends who are actively working in the MQM as volunteers. The MQM is a very popular political party in Pakistna, not only because of their anti-feudal political views, but also because of it's vast network of social services. There is no doubt that numerous elements within the Pakistani ruling Establishment will go to great lengths to ruin the glowing and growing image of the MQM, by leveling baseless allegations against the party, and it's leadership. Because of MQM's complete political domination of the city of Karachi, whether good or bad, the blame always comes to the MQM, and the contents of this story only solidifies my claim. As far as this journalist is concerned, I can safely bet that this is just a desperate attempt to seek political asylum here in the United States, and this Pakistani journalist is willing to pull out all the stops.

Mr. Bob, After reading your post I felt that you are working on unseen stories and working on the fiction part for this organization. Hve you ever imagine that the party you are writing against which is called MQM holds all the vote banks of major cities of Sindh which is more than 20 million people is holding gun and roaming on the streets kiling people. Did you ever seen how the party has serve in th last government?
And being a Pakistani origin US citizen I am feeling ashamed on a person who provoked you to write this and spread the image of bad of. Pakistan. I think we have enough of international media doing this for Pakistan, we didnt need insiders to do the job like this.
And in the end please make sure to do the research on the background of Wali Khan Baber and his relationship with the reps. of MQM and what was his last reporting.?

Bob: Hi
I wish your writeup was based on more facts then fiction. MQM has been defended and supported by some of the most respected journalists in Pakistan including Nazir Naji, Saleem Safi, Kamran Khan, Hassan Nisar, etc. Most of them are Punjabis and Pakhtoons. Now take a look at the MQM’s vote bank in the urban centers of Sindh. MQm derives much of its power from cities like Karachi, Hyderabad and Mirpurakhs. Pakistan’s most educated society lives in these cities and their decisions are well calculated and educated. MQM has been winning all elections since 1997. MQM is the only political party that’s expanding in Pakistan and Kashmir whereas all other major parties are reduced in size and confined to one or two provinces only. MQM is in Sindh assembly, Baltistan assembly and in Kashmir assembly.
Bob, please tell your friend to comeup with a better reason to apply for asylum in USA. American courts are granting asylums to those who were MQM workers and subjected to state and political persecution in Pakistan.

It is with great dismay that I read these commentators trampling on people's reputations in their rush to the defence of MQM.

MQM's long record is quite well documented, and can be judged by all. It is not a "fiction" concocted by an unknown person as these commentators want us to believe.

So eager is one commentator to defend MQM that he paints Wali Khan Babar is responsible for his own death.

That is not right. One can question the authenticity of the investigation of Babars murder, but the official allegations aimed at MQM are fact, not fiction.

MQM should not be beyond scrutinizing. The killing of Faisal Qureshi leaves legitimate questions. He was harsh against MQM, and now he is dead. That is fact.

The commentators are full of distractions. Violence will continue until all powerful forces, MQM, ISI, military, are held to account. Shouting down those who ask questions is a path to more violence and injustice.

MQM is a peace loving Democratic Party and believes in “live and let live”. MQM denounces any kind, form and shape of violent behaviour against anybody.

Working at Committee to Protect Journalist, Mr. Bob, you will be getting different stories; true and false. Pleas do not just publish them instantaneously, investigate or examine them first and then publish with counter comments.

I am confident that MQM would do everything to help you in finding truth behind it.

I had to skip through many of the comments, not just because they were lacking in substance, but because they were directly attacking Bob's integrity. As a journalist who grew up in Pakistan, I also find it easier to understand the cause of all the hateful comments directed towards the Pakistani journalist here in question and Bob.

That MQM has been involved in targeted killings is not a matter of debate. At the same time, it is also quite established that members of MQM are routinely assassinated by assassins of its rival parties. What is debatable of course is whether the journalist in question is really threatened in Pakistan or not. Rest assured, there are courts for that in the US, not contract killers.

As a non-Pakistani journalist who is well-aware of the situation in Pakistan, my sympathies clearly lie with my journalist compatriot who has to leave everything behind just so he can live. It is extremely discouraging to see certain sections of Pakistan's population getting desensitized to murder on a daily basis, especially the murder of journalists.

It gives me no pleasure to witness what is happening in Pakistan. Neither does it please me to see reporters getting tortured and killed by the government, the military and political parties. But it breaks my heart to see how my profession has become so meaningless to some Pakistanis.

May we all find some measure of peace.

Bob you need to change your source, or soon you'll be looking some new profession.
If you really believe in him, why don't you ask him few more stories, like who killed Benazir Bhutto? Who killed Murtaza Bhutto? Who killed Rehman Balouch Dakait? Who killed Journalist Saleem Shahzad. and so on. Finally don't forget to ask him who killed Ghandi and Kennedy.

let me help you to research that case,
According to various press reports, Babar was on his way back home from office on the 13th of January, 2011,
It is said that Babar spoke of social issues in many of his reports and just before he was killed, he had covered an operation against drug traffickers in the city's Pehalwan Goth neighborhood

In Pakistan you can abuse Zardari, Sharif, Imran, Afsandyar Wali to no end without fear. But mention the MQM and you fear being lynched. Even if it is a inocuous blog from New York.

The near abusive barrage unleashed on the author of this article, reflects zero tolerance for any critical appraisal. In fact, it only confirms the legitimate fear which led the journalist in question to seek assylum.

No one has been convicted of Babar Khan Wali's murder as yet. However, everyone can make their own decision on who dunit after watching the JIT interview of MQM's Mohd Sharukh urf Mani, available on the internet.

The fact that Altaf has genuine electoral support is not the question. So did Adolf.

After consistently enjoying power while in government since 2002, and intermittently even before since 1988, it does not suit the party to claim to be the perpetual victim.

MQM like any other party is fully entitled to participate and contribute to electoral politics of the country. However, it is time to cleanse itself of its violent cadre and practice tolerance.

Mr. Bob did you make an enough efforts to find out facts before targeting MQM. For your information MQM is the only political party in Pakistan who has a big mandate and for the last two decades is favorite party among poor and middle class people. Please take a look on the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry comments on Wali Khan Babar case, he has totally rejected the JIT fake report and cleared MQM from all charges. Finally, let me say that the news getting from cheep newspapers are called yellow journalism. Anything goes wrong in Karachi immediately put blame on MQM. Why MQM will do these things, think of it, if they are a big stake holder in Sindh and showed a remarkable performances. You know this action could damage your career. Write what ever you want but must be careful regrading your sources, evidences or resources.and ignore what you heard from unreliable channels.
Actually MQM popularity is based on 98% poor and middle class people that's why ruling mafia is afraid of MQM and trying to keep citizens away from MQM and ruling mafia using power through state machinery's including print and electronic media to portray MQM as criminals party.

M.Khurshidul Haque October 27, 2011 2:58:53 AM ET

In this chorus of commentary, why do so few speak on behalf of the victims? Why do so many attack those who question MQM?

The intimidating tone of the MQM apologists illustrates the problem itself. Allegations against MQM in Babar's killing are public. The blog author is not "lousy" and he does not "lose credibility" because he points them out. He is speaking for the victims, who's deaths deserve much better than what these commenters give them.

A commenter has used the name of award-winning Pakistani journalist Mazhar Abbas. We want to point out that the comment was not posted by the prominent journalist Mazhar Abbas, who occasionally blogs for CPJ.
Bill Sweeney
CPJ Editorial Director

Bill Et al, I am certainly not the journalist Mazhar Abbas you referring to. Moreover, I do not have any intention of taking advantage of my name. I posted a link in my above comment which coincidentally narrated by journalist Mazhar Abbas and didn't even notice until I saw your clarification. You can easily track my ID with email I provided

Guns, blood, and victim-complex figure very prominently in MQM's politics. The fact that people who criticize MQM and/or Altaf Hussain (its Boss) have to watch their back is no secret. Pakistani journalists know this and show this. Journalists freely criticize all the political leaders, except Altaf Hussain.

MQM has a very active Media Cell and perhaps many of the comments above come from there.

M. Zahid Iftikhar October 27, 2011 3:02:02 PM ET

Journalism is not an easy task and Journalists are facing lots of difficulties all over the world especially in our part of the world.

It is our duty to raise voice for the Press Freedom. CPJ should work with modern, progressive and grass root members of all walks of Pakistani Society to curb excessive behaviour.

I am sure you will find MQM a valuable partner in defending Journalist worldwide.

I would like to express my profound concern over the statements made by this Pakistani journalist. Unfortunately, there are many instances when various people (with fake identities) from Pakistan falsely claim asylum across the Europe and in US, by making baseless allegations, in order to acquire residence of that particular country. There are hundreds of newspapers/agencies, TV/News Channels, and thousands of journalists and media professionals living in Pakistan - none of them has ever reported or made such a claim.

As far as London Post website is concerned, it's a fake website which is not regulated by any of these associations in the United Kingdom "Newspaper Publishers’ Association, the Newspaper Society, the Scottish Daily Newspaper Society, the Scottish Publishers’ Association, and the Periodical Publishers’ Association".

Since I am originally from Pakistan, I am aware of the fact that MQM is the 3rd largest political party of Pakistan with an increasing support from all over Pakistan. No one (Being a journalist in particular), should just make a judgment / verdict and write a blog, as one has to go through the principle / procedure of "Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat" i.e. one is considered innocent until proven guilty.

Pakistani Judiciary has taken action on the murder of 2 Wali Khan Babar and Saleem Shahzad and legal proceedings are underway - hence, we can't draw a line and jump to conclusions.

No doubt Pakistan is the killing terrain for journalists and around 40 plus journalists have lost their lives in last 5 years but instead of going after and exposing the real culprits like Government agencies, extremist groups, criminal groups, drug and land mafias who actually behind all these killings, the writer used a baseless story and blaming MQM doesn’t make sense. It seems someone is using writer and putting prefabricated script and preset agenda to harm MQM image and reputation. The write should show some professionalism and ethics and must expose the murders of Pakistani journalists like Saleem Shazad, Asfandyar Khan, Nasrullah Khan Afridi, Shafiullah Khan, Hayatullah Khan, Allah Noor, Ghulam Rasool Birhamani, Shahid Soomro, Sajid Tanoli, Amir Nowab, Sufi Mohammad Khan, Siraj Uddin, Ejazul Haq, Mehboob Khan, Mohammad Samdani Warsi and list goes on.

I am a resident of karachi and I want to see mqm guys in power because they have proved it in city govt and how can u forget so easliy about Mustafa kamal he got awarded in houston from one of your high ranking officials,how could u be so naïve.And these assylum stories can easily be written,no big deal,ppl discard it,this is absloute absurd

I completely reject the allegation that MQM tries to control over media in Karachi. For past 25 years, MQM has been actively doing its politics in urban areas of Sindh mainly in Karachi and Hyderabad. Despite of its strong hold in Karachi and Hyderabad, news reporters move easily in MQM strong hold areas and perform their duties. Media correspondents usually ask aggressive questions in MQM press conferences and freely criticize on policies and statements of MQM leadership. I've never heard that ever they had been physically or verbally stopped by MQM administration. However, MQM leadership raises its voice and records its protest whenever injustice is done against them which I believe is their democratic right. MQM is the party of the most educated and largest number of working class tax payers of Pakistan; hence it deserves equal media coverage, decent criticism and democratic right of countering false and baseless allegations and yellow journalism.

News reporters are not only working freely but also growing numerously in Karachi. They migrate from other areas of Pakistan to Karachi in search of better carrier in journalism. Karachi is known as a heaven for those who belong to media. Top Newspapers and Tv channels have their head offices in Karachi (i.e. Jang, Dawn, ARY, GEO, SAMAA etc.)

Daily Ummat (Jamat e Islami backed newspaper) which is known for MQM bashing also has its head office in Karachi and it is continuously posting false and fabricated reports against MQM and its work still continues with no intervene. This one example supports my argument and rejects all allegations of media control raised against MQM.

People in Pakistan give their life saving for a US/UK citizenship. I wouldn't be surprised if some journalist play MQM card to get an asylum. since the tv channels floods in Pakistan, MQM has been one of the most criticised party in the media, they have also been proven one of party who stood up for problems of common men. MQM has openly opposed NRO.

I would stick to the story about MQM killing journalists, Wali Khan babar murder trial is going on and MQM doesn't own those alleged killers of Wali Babar. The fact is, Wali babar him self was inspired by MQM leaders and had a very good relationship with MNA Haider abbas rizvi and others. the writer should also know, What ever happens in Karachi is always pin on MQM by journalists who has a formed opinion about MQM on the basis of their prejudice and biases

I have no idea whether the MQM were behind the killing, but know for sure they - like most Pakistani political parties - have a thug element, and that the police are useless. I would like to make a general point about journalists here and in other Asian countries. Simply put, the profession's proximity to power means its attracts crooks and unethical people. I sometimes shudder when I see CPJ taking up the cause of a killed journo when everyone knows that he or she was a crook or involved in corruption or extortion. CPJ needs dead journos to exist, fair enough. But please remember to research their background. It's silly to give the impression that every murdered journalist was killed for his or her dogged persuit of the truth.

Latest of the series, Cyril Almeida, a respected columnist and Assistant Editor of the country's widely read authentic daily 'Dawn' Was threatened on twitter saying 'You have little choice to refuse.

Back in 2006 Envelops with bullets were dropped in Journalist Vehicles outside Karachi Press Club.

The above noise make needs to answer why does it always turn out to be MQM Boys behind every terrorist activity in Karachi.

They killed Ex-Sindh Province Governor and Philanthropist and founder of Hamdard Foundation just for sake of a Commercial Property.

They killed Daily Ummat's Editor. They killed Nisar Baloch, an NGO (Sheheri, Citizen)working against land encroachers. Before his death he nominated MQM Mayor the Metro.

Refer Wikileaks and it says the group has most of the arms and trained fighters more than 25000.

Back in May2007, the sabotaged protest against Chief Justice deposition by Dictator Gen Musharaf, who bragged about the Karachi violence that took 48 lives.

Latest of the latest they killed their own former MP in London. Imran Farooq was stabbed to death by two MQM boys who then flew to Karachi via Colombo. Arrests have been made and A reporter who broke the story of MQM founder and leader Altaf escaping to Dubai due to fears of arrest in London by authorities was punished by killing his brother in Karachi. The reporter or journalist from London post says they have been receiving threats from none other than the underworld in disguise of 'secular literate middle class force.'

During past 20months more than 3000 mostly pakhtoons have been killed by them to reverse the demographic changes of the city.

"It’s an open secret that in the name of secularism, the MQM has been terrorizing people not only in Pakistan but also in other parts of the world. It's becoming a fast growing fascist mafia that uses terrorism as a means of communication in the world. With deceptive looks, the MQM could be more dangerous to global peace and security than the Taliban and Al Qaeda." [The Terrorland]

Mazha, then who stormed into his apartment and did beat Zafar Abbas in March 1991 at Karachi. Of coruse MQM! And this was none else but Altaf hussain, the cehif of Mutehda himself who threatened to Razia Bahatti, the eidtor of the Newslien,karachi and her staffers in a public meeting in 1990s.
I am perplexed to see here my friend Mazhar abbas instead defending the vulnerable journalist playing as devil adovcate defending the urban based ethnic organization like MQM (Mutheda Qaumi Movement) who strongly believe in strong arms tactics (see Amnesty International Report 1996). Anyone who got to live and do journalism in Karachi is forced to defend the MQM!
Nothing to surprise when as elder brother is the chief spokesperson of Pakistan Army (whose chief's office ordered killing of Saleem Shahzad), the second is trade union leader to the rights of journalist and the third is the editor of Pakistan's largest English newspaper the 'Dawn'. This is how the sham freedom of the press works in Pakistan.
This is unfortunate that the under threat Karachi journalist who ran into offices of CPJ might not subscribe to Mazhar's political ideology! or Karachi press Club politics!

This story has been written with a view to help "the well-known journalists" from Pakistan in getting asylum in Pakistan. I am surprised to read that the Mr Bob Dietz has directly accused one of the most popular political parties of Pakistan as being involved in murdering journalists and threatening them.

The problem with these western journalists is that they make stories on what they hear. This is substandard piece of journalism and nothing else. If Mr Dietz has any credible evidence against the MQM of being involved in such practices as he suggests then he should come up with the solid evidence in support of his claim.

MQM has never been accused of threatening journalists in Pakistan. As far as the murder of Wali Khan Babr is concerned, there is no evidence whatsoever against the MQM. There must be a motive for any crime. Wali Babar was not running any story on the MQM and he had never made any startling disclosures about the MQM. What could be the possible reasons for the MQM to eliminate Wali Babar? Many a journalists criticize the MQM almost on daily basis and they move about in Karachi without any fear.

The MQM has been frequently accused of violence and I will not deny it. But has any charge ever been proven against the MQM in any court of law? I would leave Mr Dietz to investigate this for himself.

All the serious charges leveled against the MQM have been thrown out by courts. Give a dog a bad name and hang him. This is what has happened with the MQM.

As far as the reference to Naveed Kamal is concerned it is also malicious and baseless. If Mr Dietz has any sense of journalism I would ask him to verify his facts before leveling these types of serious allegations.

@ Bob Dietz, if you were in Pakistan, I swear, by now you would have been among Wali Khan Babar, Faisal Qureshi and other journalists killed by MQM and its partner in crimes, the ISI.

Thanks for writing this historic article and providing an opportunity to let the so-called journalists be exposed with their comments here, which they have given in favor of the universally declared terrorist and fascist organization known as MQM (Mutahida Qaumi Movement). The real faces of these journalists with stains of blood on their hands have now become a chapter of history of journalism in Pakistan...

CPJ! We know, this darkest period in Pakistan will end soon as the world has now realized the real problem! Gradually our people are also getting the courage to speak about the criminals and their friends in the guise of "respectable" journalists... keep our voice heard around the world!

We are expecting much more from Bob and others at the CPJ. Because we know that they can't be bribed or threatened to be a part of the Pakistani criminals in power. Keep it up!

I'm disappointed by the fact that this deeply sad article touching on the hardships Pakistani reporters face has resulted in squabbling over the MQM. Nobody can deny that being a journalist in Pakistan is a risky business at best, and a fatal one at worst. Many thanks to CPJ for reporting on what others cannot always openly do.

@ Bob Dietz, here is a classic example of the MQM to hide its crime with the help of ISI. And see how MQM member parliament exchanges a veiled threat to The Terrorland group blogs.


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