Islamabad IGP directs speedy probe into break-in at house of Editor, The Nation

Incident is widely condemned, with calls to give protection to journalist Salman Masood and his family

ISLAMABAD - Inspector General of Islamabad police Aamir Zulfiqar Khan has directed police officials on Wednesday to speed up the probe of entry of an unidentified man into the house of Editor The Nation Salman Masood and ordered immediate arrest of the culprits.

He also asked the police officers to enhance patrolling in the area and keep a vigil on the suspected elements in order to maintain law and order situation.

The capital police chief asked his subordinates to obtain mobile data from the mobile companies following the geofencing conducted by the investigators of Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) and Special Branch of the crime scene.

“We are taking this case very seriously and will get hold of the unidentified man very soon,” said the IGP.

He added that the police are investigating the high profile case from different angles and will resolve it soon by putting the intruder behind the bars. Journalists are the eyes and the ears of a society and any crime against them would not be tolerated at any cost, he commented and said, “I have directed the investigators to accelerate their efforts by using allout resources to trace out the unidentified man who had barged into the house of the senior journalist Salman Masood.”

The prime responsibility of police is to protect the lives and properties of citizens, he said.

On Friday (10 July, 2020), an unknown man forced his entry into the house of Salman Masood, Editor of The Nation, in Emaar Canyon Views, DHA Phase 5, Islamabad, which has triggered wide condemnation by government ministers, senior politicians, prominent talk show hosts and the general public.

The intruder had managed to enter the house around 2 a.m. in the night after forcing his way through a sliding door in the living room and was standing outside the master bedroom on the first floor when spotted by a family member.

The intruder was wearing a black Shalwar Qameez, holding a smart phone in one hand and put a hands-free in his ear. He ran downstairs as soon as he was spotted and managed to escape.

Salman Masood, his parents, wife and a daughter were present at the house when the intrusion took place.

A First Information Report (FIR) Number 251/20 under section 452 has been registered with Police Station (PS) Sihala.

Officials say geofencing has been done of the location and an investigation is underway to arrest the culprit and ascertain the motive of the break in.

Meanwhile, government ministers, former senators, politicians, prominent lawyers, scores of senior journalists, TV talk show hosts and members of civil society vehemently denounced the incident and expressed their solidarity with veteran journalist Salman Masood on social media.

They also demanded of the police and other law enforcement agencies to provide Salman Masood and his family with adequate security.

Federal Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain reacted over twitter, “Oops that is terrible.”

Former senator and PPP stalwart Farhat Ullah Babar tweeted, “That’s terrible, more so that it has happened in the federal capital and the intruder seemed wired. Stay safe. Demand thorough investigation into it. Not sure, but could possibly be more than meets the eye.”

Syed Ali Musa Gilani, another PPP big wheel and son of former premier Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, showed his extreme wonder over the occurrence of the incident and shared on twitter, “Oh no! Stay safe Salman Masood.” Editor Dawn News Zaffar Abbas tweeted, “Extremely disturbing. I hope the authorities will take some action and also provide protection to a senior journalist.”

Another senior journalist Raza Ahmed Rumi went on saying on his twitter feed, “Terrible news. I just saw this. This is not the first time your personal space has been invaded.”

Amber Rahim Shamsi, a TV talk show host, also condemned the occurrence of incident by posting on social media app twitter, “Not the first time it had happened to you Salman as I recall. Stay safe,” Ajmal Jami, the famous anchor of a TV talk show, tweeted, “Stay safe sir.”

CNN International producer for Pakistan Sophia Saifi stated on her twitter feed, “Hope this is resolved soon. It is absolutely ridiculous that stuff like this is still happening. Stay safe buddy.”

Salman Sufi Foundation Chief and United Nations (UN) Women’s Senior Advisor Gender Sindh Salman Sufi posted on social media app Twitter, “Stay safe and strong sir. May Allah keep you safe.”

President PILDAT Ahmed Bilal Mehboob also showed his concerns over the incident and said on twitter, “Very sorry to know. I know police will take prompt and appropriate action.”