The wife of investigative journalist Ahmed Noorani — Ambreen Fatima — was attacked in Lahore on Wednesday by an unknown assailant. The First Information Report of the incident was registered on Thursday, according to the police.
Ambreen Fatima, who is also a journalist, has told the media that she and her children had left their house at 8 pm on Wednesday. “When we reached an adjoining street, an unidentified person raced towards the car and struck the vehicle’s windscreen three to four times with an iron object with the intention to cause me harm”, she said. Fatima added that the assailant hurled death threats to her before running away.
Fatima said that she does not have enmity with anyone and asked the police to give her protection.
Condemnations poured in from fellow journalists, politicians, social and political workers and activists soon after the attack. PML-N chief and former Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif said that such attacks will not deter the truth-seekers. He asked the authorities to investigate the incident and bring the culprits to justice.
Activist Ammar Ali Jan also condemned the attack, saying: “Extremely disturbing reports about attacks on @Ahmad_Noorani’s wife and children in Lahore. Targeting family members to settle political disputes are signs of a gangster state. People across the political spectrum must unanimously condemn this barbarity and demand accountability.”
The Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ) said that such attacks are contemptible and unethical. In a media statement, the BUJ said that such attacks on female journalists only serve to prove the cowardice of the anti-journalist forces.
The BUJ asked the authorities in Punjab to fully investigate the attack and prove justice to Ambreen Fatima and her spouse.
Wednesday’s attack comes a few days after journalist Ahmed Noorani’s blistering report on Saqib Nisar, the former Chief Justice of Pakistan’s Supreme Court. Noorani, who works for Fact Focus, an investigative journalism site, published a story about Nisar and his involvement in denying justice to Nawaz Sharif and his family members.
Days before the 2018 general elections, Noorani argues, Saqib Nisar colluded to deny Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz bail.
Many argue that Wednesday’s attack was a direct reaction to Noorani’s damning report.