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Disappearance of Editor Creates Panic Among Peshawar Journalists

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Journalists of Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Provice have expressed their anger over the kidnapping of journalist. According to them, the government of Pakistan should take immediate steps for the recovery of journalist.

The city mediapersons have also constituted a committee to draw up the future course of action towards that end.

The announcement was made at a joint meeting of the key office-bearers of the Peshawar Press Club and Khyber Union of Journalists (KhUJ) held in Peshawar. The meetings discussed the issue of kidnapping of Resident Editor of Urdu-language Daily Express, Peshawar, Mr Sohail Qalander; that of his friend Mr Niaz Mohammad and the ensuing situation.

The participants deplored that 38-year-old city newsperson and his friend were kidnapped from Hayatabad on the night of January 02, 2007, but had remained untraced to this day. The vehicle they were traveling in (AKD 225) was found abandoned in the jurisdiction of the Tatara Police Station in Hayatabad. "It is a source of concern for us all that 16 days have passed, but still the police is clueless," lamented those who attended the meeting.

Disturbed by the continued disappearance, the mediapersons constituted an Action Committee for expediting the efforts for the safe recovery of the kidnapped persons. A senior journalist and Bureau Chief of the English-language daily The Nation in Peshawar, Mr Shamim Shahid, will head the committee. Other members of the body are Peshawar Press Club President Mr M. Riaz, KhUJ General Secretary Mr Ansar Abbas, and Bureau Chief of ARY One World Mr Ziaul Haq.

In a Press release issued to the media the same day, the committee appealed for the safe recovery of Mr Sohail Qalander and his friend in the name of humanity. "Mr Sohail Qalander is a senior journalist who comes of a middle-class. His family has been in deep mental shock since the time he was kidnapped", said the press release while making a passionate call for the release of the journalist who fathers a 4-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter.

It may be mentioned here that Express is a reputed Urdu-language daily of Peshawar. The newspaper is brought out by the Century Publications, which is owned by Mr Sultan Ali Lakhani. The daily appears from 10 big cities of Pakistan - Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Multan, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Raheem Yar Khan and Sukkur. The paper was launched from Peshawar on September 24, 2002 and Mr Sohail Qalander appointed its first Resident Editor.
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Muhammad Khurshid, a resident of Bajaur District, tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border is journalist by profession. He contributes articles and news stories to various online and print newspapers. His subject matter is terrorism. He is (more...)

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