Pakistani police probe Baluchistan province minister after killing of journalist

Pakistani journalists rally to condemn the alleged arrests of their colleagues by authorities for reporting lack of facilities in quarantine center set up to contain the spread of coronavirus in border town of Chaman, on June 23, 2020 in Quetta, Pakistan. (AP)

Pakistani police said Saturday they were investigating the shooting death of a local journalist to determine whether a provincial minister was behind the killing.

The development comes a day after the family of Anwar Jan accused Abdul Rehman Khetran, a minister for food in Baluchistan province, of hiring gunmen to kill Jan on Thursday.

Police officer Abdul Aziz said a murder investigation has been opened into Khetran’s possible involvement. Khetran has denied being involved, saying the gunmen blamed by Jan’s family for killing him were not his men.

Repeated attempts to reach Khetran for comment were unsuccessful.

Jan was killed by two gunmen as he was walking to his home in the town of Barkhan. His family insists Khetran ordered Jan’s murder in retaliation for Jan exposing alleged corruption.

Read more: Seized Pakistani journalist critical of country’s army released in Islamabad

Pakistan is considered to be one of the most dangerous places for journalists, and attacks on them are not uncommon.

Anwar Jan’s killing comes days after prominent Pakistani journalist Matiullah Jan, who is unrelated, was abducted in broad daylight in the capital Islamabad. His abductors freed him in a deserted place 12 hours later.

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Last Update: Saturday, 25 July 2020 KSA 21:26 - GMT 18:26