April 30, 2014
I’ve never met Hamid Mir and don’t watch his show with any regularity. But I panicked when I heard about the attempt on his life. This is because Mir is on the same “hit list” of media executives and journalists, apparently drawn up by the Pakistani Taliban in February, as my father, Najam Sethi, who hosts a similar program on Geo and has come under pressure for criticizing the military and Islamist groups in the past. Adding to my alarm was the timing of the attack, which came just weeks after gunmen ambushed my friend Raza Rumi, who is a columnist and a TV show host for Express News, a Geo rival. Rumi was attacked on a busy road one night in Lahore and fell to the floor of his car when he saw the first flash; his attackers took him for dead and sprayed his car generously with bullets, killing his twenty-five-year old driver instead.