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Killing of Pakistani journalist in North Waziristan triggers furore

Written by: Staff
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Islamabad, June 17 (UNI) Condemning the killing of a Pakistani journalist in the country's troubled North Waziristan region, scores of Islamabad-based journalists today boycotted the ongoing National Assembly session and held a demonstration outside Parliament under the aegis of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ).

The body of Hayatullah Khan, who was found dead after the disappearance for six months, was laid to rest today in his native town of Mir Ali. His body was found hand-cuffed with bullet injuries on his back.

Announcing Monday as 'Black Day' to protest the assassination, the journalists also demanded a judicial probe into Khan's murder and asked the ruling Pakistan Muslim League to send a fact-finding mission to North Waziristan.

Opposition members belonging to Pakistan Peoples Party of Benazir Bhutto and Islamic alliance Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) also expressed solidarity with the journalists and joined them in their demonstration.

The media quoted Hayatullah's brother Ehsanullah Khan Dawar as saying the former looked very weak, had grown a beard while in captivity and wore the same brown clothes he had on, when he went missing.

''He appeared to have received five gunshots, looks like he was shot from behind while attempting to escape,'' he said. The body bore no torture marks.

According to the newspaper, Ehsanullah said in one of the meetings with local intelligence operatives and government officials on May 15, he had been assured of some news of his brother on or about June 15.

''And this is what we have got his body,'' the 21-year-old said.

He added that he had been assured time and again that Hayatullah was alive and well, but had been detained on matters relating to national security.

''We knew it all along who or which agency had held him. There is not even an iota of doubt in our mind. He was wearing sarkari hatkari.'' MORE UNI XC SB KP1812

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