July 21, 2021
LANDI KOTAL—Mehrab Shah Afridi, a local journalist from Khyber District, has been threatened inside the Landi Kotal Press Club, causing anguish and indignation within the journalist community.
According to Tribal News Network (TNN), Afridi had interviewed MPA Shafiq Sher Afridi a few days ago regarding the street light issue in Landi Kotal Bazaar. It angered supporters of the Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri.
Reportedly, the minister’s supporters started criticizing him after the interview aired. They attempted to attack the journalist inside the premises of Landi Kotal Press Club.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa journalists’ organizations have strongly condemned the threats made to Afridi and demanded protection for journalists.
“The Federal Minister for Religious Affairs is trying to construct his own kingdom in Khyber, the Prime Minister should take prompt notice of this,” journalist Rifatullah Orakzai said in a tweet. "Since when did those who claimed to be building a ‘Riyasat.e.Madina’ begin to enslave people?"
Veteran journalist Shamim Shahid claimed that since the PTI administration took control in the country, particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the media has faced numerous impediments in carrying out their duties. On the other hand, journalists are subjected to various forms of torture for pointing out the failures of the government.
Lakki Marwat Press Club journalists have also condemned the threats made to Afridi and stated that the journalist community of Lakki Marwat would support him.
They said that assaulting and intimidating a journalist was illegal. If the government does not respond quickly and take legal action against the intimidators, they would hold protests from Dera Ismail Khan to Chitral.
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