Family of slain Pakistani journalist cheers killer’s arrest

File Photo of Wali Khan Babar a Pashtun Journalist from Zhob, Balochistan who started his reporting career with Geo English in Karachi
File Photo of Wali Khan Babar a Pashtun Journalist from Zhob, Balochistan who started his reporting career with Geo English in Karachi

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: Wednesday’s predawn raid by Pakistan Rangers on MQM headquarters was an administrative affair for many but the family of slain journalist Wali Khan Babar.

It was all emotional for the bereaved family when TV channels broadcasted the news that those arrested at Nine-Zero also included Faisal Mehmood alias Faisal Mota, an absconding convict in Babar’s murder case.

It was on January 13, 2011 when the youngling Geo News reporter was gunned down in Liaquatabad neighbourhood of this volatile metropolis on his way back home from office.

The family was jubilated as soon as TV channels shown the Rangers spokesman declaring Mota’s arrest at around 10am.

“Like others, we too were glued to the TV screen displaying live coverage of Rangers’ operation at Nine Zero,” recalls Murtaza Khan Babar, the elder brother of Babar.

“The moment the news was broken that main culprit in Wali Khan’s murder case has been arrested, many of our family members could not hold our tears back,” said Khan who has been running from pillar to post to get justice for his journalist brother whose cold-blooded assassination in the middle of a road in an MQM stronghold had sent shockwaves across Pakistan and beyond.

“Allah is the best judge and he delivers justice both in this world and the hereafter,” said he.

Unlike traditional Pashtuns tribes, who take revenge by themselves, the highly educated Pashtun family from Zhob district of Balochistan put their trust in the judicial system of Pakistan. “It was herculean task for tough than shooting someone down.”

It took over three years, from his murder on January 13, 2011 to March 1, 2014, and witnessed murder of a lawyer and six eyewitnesses and other people related to the case to come out the judgment but the family resolve to take ‘revenge through courts’ never went down for second.

Murderer of Wali Khan Babar who was arrested from MQM headquarters, Nine Zero in Karachi
Murderer of Wali Khan Babar who was arrested from MQM headquarters, Nine Zero in Karachi

On March 1, 2015, a special anti-terrorism court sentenced Naveed Polka, Muhammad Ali Rizvi, Faisal Mahmood, and Mohammad Shahrukh Khan to life in prison for the murder of Babar.

Kamran and Faisal Mota were given death sentences in absentia, which deprived the family of true happiness until the last Wednesday brought in their lives the residual glee. Despite the twelve months long waiting the family is appreciative of the law enforcers, especially Rangers, for arresting one of the two condemned convicts, they hope that Kamran will also be arrested soon.

“We have also huge expectations from the court for the speedy judicial process after Faisal Mota’s arrest” Babar said, adding the family waiting for the day when justice will be completely delivered.  It is worth mentioning that Wali Khan’s is a rarely case when killers of a journalists are brought to justice.

Originally Published here

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Author: Naimat

Karachi based journalist, writing on national and international issues.

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