Skip to main content

Gunmen target prominent Pakistani news anchor Hamid Mir

By Pierre Meilhan and Greg Botelho, CNN
updated 7:54 AM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
Pakistani journalist and television anchor Hamid Mir in November 2012.
Pakistani journalist and television anchor Hamid Mir in November 2012.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The United States says the attack "should be a wake-up call" in Pakistan
  • Men in a car, on motorcycles fired at Hamid Mir, reports his network, Geo News
  • He was hit three times, then had a successful operation, the CNN affiliate says
  • Mir felt Pakistan's spy agency may try to assassinate him, his brother tells Geo News

(CNN) -- Gunmen wounded a prominent Pakistani TV news anchor on Saturday in an attack his brother linked to the nation's government, despite its firm denial.

Hamid Mir was shot three times by gunmen in a car and on two motorcycles near Karachi's airport, his network Geo News -- a CNN affiliate -- reported.

Shahid Hayat, the police chief for Karachi, said bullets struck Mir's intestines, leg and pelvic area. Dr. Aamir Hussain told Geo News that Mir then underwent a successful operation at a private hospital.

Amir Mir -- the targeted news anchor's brother and a journalist himself -- said Hamid Mir believed ISI, Pakistan's powerful intelligence agency, and specifically its leader Lt. Gen. Zaheerul Islam, had plans to assassinate him.

Blast at fruit market in Pakistan
9-month-old fingerprinted and booked

Yet the Pakistani military public relations agency ISPR said that "raising allegations against ISI or the head of ISI without any basis is highly regrettable and misleading."

In the same statement, a spokesman for that agency condemned the attack and "prayed for (Mir's) well-being and quick recovery."

The United States condemned the shooting, calling it the latest in a series of worrisome attacks on journalists in Pakistan.

"...Attacks like these should be a wake-up call to all who value democracy in Pakistan," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

"We wish Hamid Mir a speedy recovery and urge the Government of Pakistan to bring all those responsible for these attacks on the media to justice."

A former newspaper reporter and editor, Hamid Mir writes columns and hosts a political talk show on Geo News. His guests have included members of Pakistan's ruling government and the opposition. Mir is also writing a book on Osama bin Laden, the late al Qaeda leader whose escape from the Tora Bora mountains of Afghanistan he extensively reported on.

Two Pakistani governments -- once in 2007 and again in 2008 -- banned him from appearing on Pakistani television.

Pointing to a late March attack against a Pakistani journalist, an official with the Committee to Protect Journalists called the targeting of Mir "an indicator that the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has not been able to reverse the country's appalling record of violence against journalists, despite pledges to do so."

"Police must act swiftly and decisively in this and all cases that have been building up for years in Pakistan," said Bob Dietz, the journalism advocacy group's Asia program coordinator. "And the country's media must use their capabilities to pursue their own investigations, as well as pressure the government to take action."

READ: 2 UNICEF staffers missing in Pakistan

READ: Attack targets polio workers in Pakistan, kills 11

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 5:45 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
updated 9:43 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
updated 4:48 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
updated 3:27 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
updated 9:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
updated 7:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
updated 6:44 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
updated 5:26 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
updated 5:54 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
updated 9:31 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT