New Delhi: Yet another reporter was murdered in Pakistan this week, a country that sits fourth in the International Federation of Journalists’ list of “dangerous” countries with the death of 138 journalists since 1990. This time it was a Karachi-based reporter who made videos about illegal hunting of the threatened Houbara bustard by Arab dignitaries.
Nazim Jokhio was murdered on Wednesday after posting a video saying he had been receiving threats about his videos on illegal hunting trips of Arabs in Pakistan. Though hunting is banned in Pakistan, it is permitted for wealthy foreign dignitaries. Following the journalist’s death, Reporters Without Borders called for an independent investigation into his murder and iterated the same to Sindh chief minister Murad Ali Shah. Police had said they had arrested two men in connection with Jokhio’s death but those who gave the orders had not been identified.
In a video Jokhio had posted online speaking in Urdu, he said, “I am not scared. I am getting threats and I will not apologise.”
— Dr. Nazia Memon (@NaziaMemon01) November 4, 2021
Invitation to the ‘Jam House’
Jokhio reportedly went to cover a hunting party at the invitation of Pakistan Peoples Party member Jam Awais Bijar Khan Jokhio, a local power broker who is also a member of the Sindh provincial assembly. According to a report by Dawn, the journalist’s body was found at the politican’s farmhouse, known as ‘Jam House’.
The legislator surrendered to law enforcers late Thursday night, following which a local court sent him on three-day police remand on Friday.
The FIR was registered on the complaint by the victim’s brother, who accused MPA Awais and Member of the National Assembly Jam Abdul Karim of having a hand in Jokhio’s murder.
Relatives and members from the Jokhio’s community staged a sit-in on the national highway at Dhabeji with his body. They buried the reporter in a nearby graveyard and then continued the sit-in, reported Dawn.
An eight-member team has also been formed to investigate the case. Sindh CM Mural Ali Shah met Jokhio’s family and assured them justice would be delivered.
Public outrage over Jokhio’s death
Following his death, many of Pakistan’s civil society members took to Twitter to express their outrage. The hashtag #JusticeForNazimJokhio was trending on the social media site.
Many reposted his video. One user said, “There is no justice for poor like Nazim Jokhiyo in this country because this country is ruled by landlord’s, sardar, peer and wadera…”. Meanwhile, user Azad Ali claimed that the murder took place by ‘Sindh’s feudal lords.’
— Ali Azad 🚩 (@gli5TkRZmITgnyx) November 4, 2021
— Azad Ali (@AzadAli7786) November 3, 2021
Another handle shared a portrait of him and said, “Let’s get United and destroy feudalism once for all for prosperous Sindh.” While user Ghulam Akbar Bhutto said that “a fedulaist [sic] who has been accused of murdering a man is free from handcuffs.”
Let's keep Shaheed Nazim Jokhiyo Legacy Alive by following up this case, Let's not get those culprits away with this heinous crime by blocking any attempt for out of court settlement. Let's get United and destroy feudalism once for all for prosperous Sindh. pic.twitter.com/EJXmSR3Xbv
— نديم جمالي🇦🇺 (@Mr_Jamali_) November 6, 2021
In Sindh a fedulaist who has been accused of murdering a man is free from handcuffs & a woman and a boy with handcuffs without justifying any case. Shaheed Nizam jokhiyo's soul is seeking for justice. Hang fedulaist openly, Sindh demands. pic.twitter.com/hbURL0reg5
— Ghulam Akbar Bhutto (@GhulamAkbarBhu6) November 5, 2021
Journalists on Twitter also highlighted how the Imran Khan government had let Jokhio down, and called for greater accountability by the legislators.
Shocked. The murder of Nazim Jokhiyo reminds us the need for urgent steps to end impunity for crimes against journalists and media in Sindh province. I hope @MuradAliShahPPP govt will make it sure that perpetrators did not escape #justice. https://t.co/g8RI6Xh8Z0
— Iqbal Khattak 📸 (@khattak63) November 4, 2021
Salute Nazim Jokhiyo.
You died for what was right.
Shame on the govt which could not protect you. https://t.co/h1rLEXjMSY
— Man Aman Singh Chhina (@manaman_chhina) November 5, 2021