The Nation: Tuesday, April 20, 2010
ABBOTTABAD – The journalist community in Abbottabad has passed a resolution to condemn a statement of District Coordination Officer, Zaheer-ul-Islam in which he slammed the media for ‘reckless’ reporting on the eve of April 12 protests that took over a dozen previous lives on account of highhandedness of police.
The joint resolution endorsed by Hazara Union of Journalists (HUJ), Abbottabad Press Club and related journalists’ unions and the draft of which was readout at the huge public gathering arranged by Tehreek-e-Hazara in Abbottabad and Haripur to voice support for Hazara province. It strongly condemned the DCO’s statement that he recorded before the Senate on Saturday reportedly to save his skin.
The DCO had said that media had ‘played up’ the April 12 protests in Abbottabad and only four people had died in these protests. Naively enough, Zaheer-ul-Islam believed that out of these 4 ‘causalities’ two died falling from the signboards installed at roadsides.
The joint resolution condemned the role of administrative and law enforcement machinery of Abbottabad during protests and strongly opposed the bureaucratic role of Zaheer-ul-Islam to oblige the ANP Government. “The ignorant DCO overlooked the fact that in a small city like Abbottabad signboards are not as high as to cause instant deaths if anybody falls from them,” Quaid-i-Tehreek Sardar Haider Zaman informed TheNation during a meeting on Monday morning.
He said, till date, the death toll has risen to 15, including a policeman hailing from Abbottabad who was killed by Peshawar Police. “Today, an innocent protestor who was injured in police firing lost his life, yesterday another innocent youth died, we have sent over a dozen dead bodies to nearby villages and they say only four people died! Such an efficient government servant this man is!” he deplored referring to DCO Zaheer-ul-Islam’s role.
Leader Trader Union Abbottabad, Ehsan Ali Shah said that the successful public gatherings held in Karachi, Lahore Islamabad, Balakot, Kohistan and Hazara Division in favour of the formation of Hazara province clearly reflect the wishes of people of Hazara.
President Havelian Trade Union and senior leader Tehreek-i-Hazara Sardar Shafqat said that Peshawar Police killed their colleague only because he belonged to Abbottabad and supported Tehreek-i-Hazara. Replying to the question regarding the allegations of local police that protestors killed the policeman, he questioned, “How can protestors shoot anybody when they were totally disarmed? That was a planted murder to put blame on us” he alleged.
Meanwhile, the findings of the post-mortem report of the slain police official exclusively available with TheNation indicated that deceased received four bullet injuries, all from point blank, that supports the suspicion that the official was shot dead by the people standing next to him that could be none other than his colleagues.
Over 100,000 people attended the public gatherings in Abbottabad and Haripur, led by Sardar Haider Zaman, Sardar Yaqub, Gohar Ayub Khan, Umer Ayub Khan, Mushtaq Ghani, Azhar Khan Jadoon, Sardar Shafqat, Maqsood-ur-Rehman Tanoli, Ehsan Ali Shah and other eminent personalities.