Geo TV reporter murdered in Pak’s restive Swat valley

A Pakistan TV journalist covering talks between two hardline clerics was killed on Wednesday unidentified gunmen in the country’s restive Swat valley, jeopardising the just inked peace pact reached between one of the pro-Taliban group and the government.

Twenty eight-year-old Musa Khan Khel, who was working for Geo News channel and The News daily, was shot dead in the Matta area of Swat, considered a stronghold of the local Taliban.

Khan Khel had gone to the area to cover talks expected to be held between Taliban leader Maulana Fazlullah and his father-in-law Maulana Sufi Mohammad, whose group has reached an agreement with the North West Frontier Province government on enforcing Sharia law in Swat and in parts of the province.

“We announce the sad news that the Geo TV correspondent in Swat was assassinated by unidentified gunmen,” an anchor on Geo News announced.

“We demand that the government trace the killers and punish them,” the anchor said. Khan Khel was the second journalist to be shot dead in Swat valley in three months. No group claimed responsibility for the killing.

Information Minister Sherry Rehman condemned Khan Khel’s murder, saying the killers would be brought to justice.

Meanwhile, septuagenarian Sufi Mohammad, the chief of the outlawed Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariah Mohammedi, and some 300 followers marched through Mingora, the main city of Swat district in the NWFP.

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