Behroz Khan, the Peshawar-based reporter for The News, confirmed news reports that Hakim was returning from covering a jirga, a traditional court. He had been invited to witness the demolition of a house belonging to the perpetrator of a February car bombing that had killed a local physician. The demolition was part of the disposition of the court case. Khan was traveling with a local official and a tribal chief who had taken a role in the case, according to news reports. Their car was third in a convoy returning from the area, reports said, and it might have been specifically targeted.
Hakim is the sixth journalist killed for his work in the tribal region of the North West Frontier province since the beginning of 2000. Eleven journalists have been killed in all of Pakistan since that time. Other than in the 2002 death of Daniel Pearl, the U.S. reporter for The Wall Street Journal, none of the cases has been fully investigated, and no one has been charged with a crime.
"We regretfully add the name of our colleague Noor Hakim Khan to the growing list of journalists killed while covering the news in Pakistan," said Joel Simon, CPJ's executive director. "Once again, we call on the government to do everything in its power to protect journalists throughout the country and particularly in the tribal regions."
CPJ is a New York-based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. For more information, visit www.cpj.org.