Four unidentified gunmen fired on the Afghan journalist and
his colleague, Ali Khan, while they were traveling on a public minibus near the
town of Jamrud, Khyber Agency, northwestern Pakistan, according to local and
international news reports.
A white sedan carrying the gunmen intercepted the bus with
Hashimzada and Khan as it was en route to Peshawar from the Afghan border town
of Torkham, according to The Associated Press. The gunmen targeted the
journalists, killing Hashimzada and severely injuring Khan, according to AP. No
other injuries were reported. The type of vehicle used by the gunmen is standard
issue for Pakistan’s intelligence agency.
Both journalists worked for Afghanistan’s Shamshad TV.
Hashimzada, the station’s Peshawar-based bureau chief for Pakistan, also
reported for AP, the Pajhwok Afghan News agency, and other news outlets, the
reports said. No one claimed responsibility for the killing, according to news
Hashimzada was known as a critic of the Taliban insurgency
in Afghanistan, and his reports had challenged the authorities and intelligence
agencies in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, the reports said. “He received
threats four weeks ago to leave Peshawar and not report Taliban and Al-Qaeda
activity in Pakistan. It is clear … he lost his life for reporting,” Danish
Karokhel, director of Pajhwok Afghan News agency, told CPJ.
Daud Khattak, a local journalist who later joined Radio Free
Europe/Radio Liberty in Prague, said Hashimzada had recently interviewed a
Taliban spokesman in the Hyatabad area of Peshawar. The story was potentially
embarrassing to the military because it showed that a prominent Taliban
official was living openly in a main city.