KARACHI: Unknown gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on Hamid Mir in Karachi on Saturday 19th April 2014.
The incident took place on Sharae Faisal near Natha Khan area when the gunmen opened fire on his vehicle around 5:30pm today in Karachi.
Hamid Mir is a Pakistani journalist, news anchor, terrorism expert, and security analyst. He currently hosts the political talk show Capital Talk on Geo TV and also writes columns for Urdu, Hindi, Bengali, and English newspapers. He was twice banned from Pakistani television by the Pervez Musharraf government in 2007, and by the Zardari administration in June 2008. He has also received the Hilal-i-Imtiaz, Pakistan’s second highest civil award.
He was going to his office from the airport when he was attacked.
“Four gunmen riding on motorbikes started firing at the car near Karsaz (around six kilometres from Jinnah International Airport) when Mir’s car was passing through, he received three bullets in the lower parts of his body,” said senior police official Peer Muhammad Shah.
Shah said a single gunman first opened fire on Mir’s car, followed by others who chased him on motorcycles.
Karachi police chief Shahid Hayat said Mir suffered three gunshot wounds to the stomach and the upper legs.
“Hamid Mir has received three bullets but the doctors told me that he is out of danger,” Karachi police chief Shahid Hayat told news agency AFP.
Mir’s colleague Rana Jawad said he had talked briefly to Mir on his mobile phone as he was under attack.
“I spoke to him briefly when he was escaping, he said they have shot him and now they were following him,” said Jawad.
“He has been shot thrice, in the pelvic, abdomen and thighs,” he added.
Mir was taken to a private hospital for emergency treatment. The journalist was taken to the hospital in a state of unconsciousness.
Following a surgery lasting two-and-a-half hours, hospital administration said the journalist’s condition was stable, but that he would be kept under observation.
Friends and colleagues said Mir had previously told them that if he is attacked, Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), “and its chief Lt General Zaheerul Islam will be responsible”.
Speaking to Geo News, his brother Amir Mir said the senior anchorperson had visited him and informed him of what he called a plan hatched by Lt-Gen Islam to assassinate him.
Geo News, the media organisation for which Mir works, reported that he had also sent a recorded video to Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) implicating the ISI in any attempt on his life.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the ISPR, the military’s public relations wing, condemned the attack on Hamid Mir, and said an independent inquiry must be carried out to ascertain facts behind the attack.
“However raising allegations against the ISI or the head of ISI without any basis is highly regrettable and misleading,” he said.