KARACHI: A leading Pakistani journalist and TV anchor who was shot three times in an attack in Karachi is conscious and in stable condition, his hospital said Monday.
Hamid Mir, who hosts a prime-time current affairs talk show on the Geo News channel, was attacked on Saturday while traveling by car to his office from the airport in Karachi. The government has announced a special commission to investigate the attack and offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.
A spokesman for Karachi’s Aga Khan University Hospital said Mir was “conscious and stable.” The shooting came less than a month after gunmen tried to murder another prominent liberal journalist, Raza Rumi, known for criticizing the Taleban.
Rumi survived the attack but his driver was killed.
Mir has survived previous attempts on his life including a bomb under his car last year which police defused before it could go off. He has long been a critic of the country’s powerful intelligence agencies and military for their alleged role in the abduction of thousands of people in the restive southwestern province of Baluchistan.
Imran Aslam, the president of Geo, said Mir himself would lodge the official police complaint about the attack — known in Pakistan as a first information report (FIR) — as soon as he is able.
“We are waiting for Hamid’s early recovery so that he could himself lodge the FIR,” Aslam told AFP.
He said Mir’s condition was stable but he was “not in a position to lodge the FIR.” “Let’s hope he gets better and back to work with renewed vigour.”
The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists organized a rally to protest against Mir’s shooting in the capital Islamabad on Monday.
Last month Pakistan announced it would set up a special commission to protect journalists and would include press freedom as part of peace talks with the Taleban.
Rights groups have called Pakistan one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists.
Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders says seven reporters lost their lives in Pakistan last year.