Nasrullah Gadani

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

On May 21, Nasrullah Gadani, a reporter for local Sindhi language newspaper Awami Awaz, was attacked by armed assailants in the Kori Goth area of Ghotki district in Sindhi province. He suffered critical gunshot wounds to his abdomen and died in a Karachi hospital on May 24.

Yaqoob Gadani, brother of the slain journalist, and Salah Gadani, his cousin, testified as eyewitnesses before the Second Civil Judge and Judicial Magistrate in Mirpur Mathelo on June 26, according to media reports. They alleged that Khalid Lund, a local member of parliament from the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) along with his two sons Ahmed Khan Lund, and Noor Muhammad Khan Lund, masterminded the killing of Nasrullah Gadani.

The two siblings of the deceased journalist recounted that on the day of the murder, they were traveling on a separate motorbike with Gadani when the three attackers stopped them and shot him with a pistol. This account was shared by journalist Imdad Soomro, who reviewed the court testimony of the Gadanis and spoke to the CPJ.

The eyewitnesses recorded their statements under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and added that earlier on April 11, 2024, they witnessed that three accused had also threatened that Nasrullah would be killed if he did not stop reporting against them.

On June 26, the Sindh High Court issued a 10-day protective bail, which allows suspects to avoid arrest, for the member of parliament and his two sons, named as the main accused in the killing of Nasrullah Gadani, to avoid their arrest in the Judicial Magistrate in Mirpur Mathelo, according to the court order reviewed by CPJ

Naimat Khan, the former General Secretary of the Karachi Press Club, told CPJ, that as a journalist leader, he strongly believes “Gadani’s killers were associated with PPP lawmaker Khalid Lund, as his family testified in court.”

Meanwhile, the investigation into Gadani’s murder has been transferred from the local Ghotki district to a senior officer in charge of the Rapid Response Force in Hyderabad city, as reported by The News.

On May 27, 2024 The News International reported that Sindh police arrested at least three suspects in connection with Gadani’s killing. On June 8, Police stated that they arrested suspects including Asghar Loond, son of Hoat Loond, one of the three main suspects, and that they recovered the weapon as well as a motorcycle and three mobile phones used in the crime. Police have declared Asghar Loond’s brother Barkat and Abdullah absconders, according to The News. Gadani, who disseminated news reports through social media, was known for his bold investigations into local feudal lords, political personalities, influential landowners and government officers, according to the independent Dawn.

In a video that went viral on social media, Gadani was seen riding a motorcycle alongside a convoy of a landlord escorted by police. Speaking in the Sindhi language, he was heard saying that a landlord was being escorted by police. Some followers of the journalist believe the video may have been a motive for the attack, according to the non-profit Freedom Network, but investigating police have not given an official cause.

Police and Khalid Lund in Sindh province did not respond to CPJ’s requests for comment via email and messaging apps. Additionally, there has been no response from Lund in the media.