Journalist Brutally Murdered
Muhammad Taimoor – June 2006
Pakistan’s President Musharraf plays a pivotal role in the fight against terror. His participation with Britain and America prevents the perception growing among Muslims that the “War on Terror” is in reality a campaign directed against Islam.
So in the beginning of December last year there was much celebration among Pakistani and US officials. The focus of the jubilation was the death of senior Al-Qaeda member, Abu Hamza Rabia, said to have been involved in earlier two attempts on Musharraf's life.
According to the Pakistani Information Minister at the time, Abu Hamza Rabia had been killed, along with two accomplices, "while working with explosives". The implication being that he was preparing a bomb.
However, Pakistani journalist Hayatullah Khan Daawer was the first to expose these claims for the lies they were.
According to local eyewitnesses, the blasts had not been caused by explosives but by missiles fired at the house. A fact later corroborated by Hayatullah Khan Daawer, when he located and photographed debris at the scene that was subsequently identified as fragments from a US made laser guided Hellfire missile.
An air to ground missile, the Hellfire can also be launched from unmanned, remote controlled drones.
Hayatullah Khan at work
Nonetheless, Hayatullah Khan was to pay dearly for exposing these lies.
He had already expressed fears that he might be abducted or arrested by the Intelligence agencies for uncovering what really happened. When in late December last year, after having covered student demonstrations against the attack, he was abducted by five armed men.
Although there was talk of Taliban involvement, his family were assured by the Taliban that they had nothing to do with the kidnapping.
The whole episode came to a bloody end last week when Hayatullah Khan was buried. His handcuffed body was found to have lost a substantial amount of weight, as if he had been held captive for some time.
Moreover, Hayatullah appeared to have been executed with the standard execution style shot in the back of his head.
According to Hayatullah’s younger brother, Ihsanullah “We were expecting this earlier, but it took more than seven months.”
Nonetheless the family of the slain journalist has been accusing the government of his kidnapping after his refusal to accept conditions, offered to him by Musharraf's administration: either to leave the news agency, stop reporting or accept a government job. All three conditions, Ihsanullah said in earlier interviews, were not acceptable to Hayatullah.
Meanwhile the Pakistani government has neither commented on nor condemned Hayatullah’s killing. An indication to many observers of where the real responsibility for his murder lies.
The writer can be reached at email@example.com
Handcuffs that were cut from Hayatullah's body.
Last updated 24/06/2006