ISLAMABAD: Karachi, June 15: Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), an umbrella organisation for all the journalists unions in Pakistan, has condemned the killing of Kashmiri journalist Shujaat Bukhari by unknown armed men in Srinagar, the capital of Indian-occupied Kashmir.
The 50-year-old Mr Bukhari, editor of “Rising Kashmir” was killed in broad day light near his office in Srinagar on Thursday when armed men sprayed bullets on his vehicle. He alongwith his bodyguard was killed in the attack.
A joint press statement issued by PFUJ President Afzal Butt and Secretary General Ayub Jan Sarhandi, said that the editor of “Rising Kashmir” had been under threat both from state actors as well as militant organisations.
“We are concerned at the ruthless killing of Shujaat Bukhari which is apparently aimed at silencing the saner voices in the Indian-occupied Kashmir,” the statement said.
Describing Mr Bukhari as a fearless and courageous journalist, the PFUJ noted that he had reported on Kashmir issues very independently and thus was disliked by both state apparatus as well as militant groups.
“His killing is a severe blow to freedom of Press and free expression and we condemn this act with full force,” the statement said.
“The PFUJ calls upon the state government of Indian occupied Kashmir to bring the culprits to the book as early as possible.”
The PFUJ has already given a call to all the Press Clubs across the country to flutter black flags on their buildings on Friday and to hold his funeral prayers in absentia the same day.
“We stand with the Kashmiri journalists’ community in Indian controlled Kashmir in this hour of their grieve and assure them our fullest support and cooperation in their struggle for a free Press in the violence ridden valley,” the PFUJ statement said.
Meanwhile, black flag was hoisted at the Shuhada Monument situated at National Press Club Islamabad. Ghaibana Nimaz-e-Janaza was also offered for late Shujaat Bukhari while a protest demonstration was also organized outside the National Press Club in which a large number of journalist community along with their leaders belonging to PFUJ, RIUJ and NPC also participated.
Meanwhile, Caretaker Minister for Information and Broadcasting Barrister Syed Ali Zafar has condemned the killing of journalist Shujaat Bukhari in Indian Occupied Kashmir.
In a message, the Minister expressed sympathies with his family. He prayed for eternal peace of the departed soul and grant of courage to the bereaved family.
He said Shujaat Bukhari was a brave and fearless journalist who was committed to his work. His murder is an attempt to stop his voice against barbarism.
Syed Ali Zafar said spirit of freedom cannot be suppressed by use of force.
Meanwhile, In Brussels, Chairman Kashmir Council Europe (KC-EU) Mr Ali Raza Syed has condemned assassination of renowned Kashmiri Journalist Syed Shujaat Bukhari in Srinagar, the capital of Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) on Thursday.
The unknown gunmen shot dead the editor-in-chief of Jammu and Kashmir based newspaper “Rising Kashmir”) outside his office at Press Avenue in Srinagar on Thursday’s evening.
He received multiple bullets in his head and abdomen. Shujaat Bukhari was accompanied by his two personal security guards. They were also attacked and taken to hospital. One of the guards later succumbed in hospital.
In a condolence message Chairman Kashmir Council EU Ali Raza Syed said, this brutal attack has shaken all Kashmiris specially the entire Kashmiri journalist community.
According to him, Shujaat Bukhari has contributed a lot by his participation in several conferences for peace in the Kashmir in Pakistan and India as well in other parts of the World.
He also attended some of events arranged by Kashmir Council EU in Brussels, the EU headquarters. According to Ali Raza Syed who hosted Shujaat Bukhari in Brussels, he even had telephonic conversation with him last week.
The murder of the veteran Kashmiri journalist took place at the time when UN’s Human Rights body issued a comprehensive report on human rights abuses in IHK.
The United Nations in its first-ever human rights report on Jammu and Kashmir has called for an urgent need to address past and ongoing human rights violations and abuses and deliver justice to all people in Kashmir.
The main focus of the report released by the United Nations Human Rights Office in Geneva, remained on the human rights situation in the Indian occupied Kashmir from July 2016 to April 2018.
It said that people of Kashmir had been suffering a conflict for seven decades that had claimed or ruined numerous lives. The 49-page report by the UN on the human rights situation in Kashmir highlights a situation of chronic impunity for violations committed by Indian forces.
The UN’s report is highly appreciable move by the United Nation’s body which exposed the large scale human rights violations committed by the Indian forces in IHK, Ali Raza Syed.
Chairman Kashmir Council EU asked UN to pressure India for implementation of UN’s resolution on Kashmir in order provide right of self-determination to the people of Kashmir.
The UN’s report also mentioned the Kunanposhpora mass rape, enforced disappearances, unmarked mass graves and use of pellet guns by the Indian troops and impunity given to the forces’ personnel under draconian law, Armed Forces Special Powers Act.
The international community should immediately intervene and stop human rights violation in IHK and play its effective role for just resolution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute, Chairman Kashmir Council EU urged.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Farooq Rehmani, Chairman Jammu and Kashmir People’s Freedom League (PFL) & ex-convener All Parties Hurriyat conference AJK/Pak, has expressed profound grief and sorrow and condemnation over the cold-blooded murder of a renowned journalist and Editor-in-Chief
The Rising Kashmir group of publications minutes before Roza-Iftar within the premises of the high security zone press enclave Srinagar.
He termed the death of Shujaat Bukhari a great and irreparable loss to the fearless movements of free speech and human rights in the wounded Kashmir region.
“It is horrendous kind of tyranny perpetrated on a man of letters, free speech and human rights advocate in Kashmir.”
He demanded a fair and impartial probe into this tragic incident. – NNI