Senior journalist and political analyst Ayaz Amir was assaulted by unidentified men in Lahore on Friday night, a day after he termed Pakistan’s Army generals “property dealers”.
Amir (73) was returning home after his TV programme on Dunya News was intercepted by unidentified men. He claimed that he was dragged out of the car and thrashed.
With bruises on his face, Amir alleged that the masked men not only “hit him and tore his clothes, they also took away his cellphone and wallet. They left when people started gathering on the busy road”.
On Thursday, during a speech at a seminar in Islamabad on the ‘Regime Change and its Fallout on Pakistan’, Amir targeted the powerful military establishment for its role in Pakistan’s politics. The seminar was also attended by former prime minister Imran Khan.
He referred to the Army generals as “property dealers” and even suggested removing the portraits of Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal and replacing them with the “property dealers”.
In an indirect reference to Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Amir said he was into his sixth year of tenure and looking for another extension.
Parts of Amir’s speech have gone viral on social media.
He also pointed out the mistakes committed by Imran Khan during his tenure as the country’s prime minister especially following the lines of the military establishment.
Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz has sought a report from the Inspector General of Police over the assault of the senior journalist and ordered that the culprits be arrested at the earliest.
Reacting to the incident, Imran Khan tweeted, “I condemn in strongest terms the violence against senior journalist Ayaz Amir today in Lahore. Pakistan descending into the worst kind of fascism with violence and fake FIRs against journalists, opposition politicians, and citizens. When the state loses all moral authority it resorts to violence.” Journalists, lawyer bodies and rights activists condemned the assault.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)