TARBELA GHAZI -  Senior journalist and bureau chief of a local newspaper was shot dead on Sunday in the jurisdiction of Sara-e-Saleh Police Station in district Haripur of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The killing sent a shock wave among journalist community in Haripur.

Bakhshish Elahi was on his way to Haripur on Sunday morning when he reached near Lora Chowk, Shah Maqsood area in Haripur, unidentified assailant riding a motorcycle opened fire on him.

The attacker fired five shots on his body, one on his head and four others on his chest and belly. Bakhshish Elahi succumbed to his injuries on the spot.

His body was shifted to Women and Children Hospital Haripur and later, after completing medico-legal formalities, was handed over to his heirs for burial. Sara-e-Saleh police have registered a case and started investigation.

Martyred Bakhshish Elahi was laid to rest at his native village. A large number of people belonging to different walks of life including journalists, traders, lawyers, teachers and politicians participated in his Nimaz-e- Janaza.

Journalist community of district Haripur and Hazara division while strongly condemning the murder demanded of local and provincial governments for immediate arrest of the culprits and for providing fool-proof security to the journalists.

On the occasion, former president Press Club Ghazi Pervaiz Awan said that journalists always worked as eyes and ears for the administration and law enforcement agencies to root out corruption, all kinds of illegal activities and social evils. He said that if journalists were on the threat then how they would continue their duties.

Pervaiz Awan further said that unfortunately Pakistan had become the most dangerous place for practicing journalism in the world and it had become at number four on the list of the deadliest countries in the world for journalists, and came behind Mexico, Philippines and Iraq. He said that journalists working in conflict areas were often targeted by militant organisations and hard liners for not complying with their demands or not presenting their point of view.

Awan said that it was duty of government to take necessary measures for protection of journalists in the field and to ensure their well being. He said that freedom of expression was right of every one and taking steps to ensure that the media persons could perform their duty in a safe and secure environment was duty of the government. He demanded of the government for earliest arrest of the murderers of Bakhshish Elahi and taking steps for protection of the journalist community for provision of a fearless environment to them for performance of their duties.

APP adds: The journalists community has protested against the killing.

President Haripur Press Club (HPC) Zakir Tanooli along with other journalists protested against the killing of Bakshish Elahi and blocked the road.

On the occasion chairman NA Committee on Human Rights Babar Nawaz, former KP Minister for Higher Education Qazi Asad and a large number people from all walks of life reached hospital. HPC also condemned the cold-blooded murder, called for immediate arrest of the killers.

According to police official, Bakhshish Ahmad, the bureau chief of ‘The K2 Times’ newspaper, came under attack in his home district of Haripur.

Meanwhile, the Islamabad-based Pashto-language Khyber television, which owns the newspaper, confirmed the incident. Police said that they are investigating motives behind the incident.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb Sunday strongly condemned the heinous murder of a Haripur- based senior journalist. Expressing her heartfelt condolences with the family of the deceased, she advised the MNA from NA-19 Babar Nawaz Khan to employ all possible means to help the family in this hour of distress and bereavement.

She also prayed to Almighty Allah to rest the departed soul in peace and grant the bereaved family the courage and fortitude to overcome the shock of their loss.