PakistanAsia – Pacific Reporters Without Borders today voiced grave concern about the safety of Sailab Mehsud, working for the newspaper The News and for Al-Jazeera in Dera Ismail Kahn, south of Peshawar, after an officer in Pakistani military intelligence insulted and threatened him with death.Mehsud, who is also editor of the regional news website Karwan-e-Qabial (www.karwan-e-qabial.net) and formerly chaired the Tribal Union of Journalists (TUJ), was threatened in connection with his reporting on a clash the previous evening between the army and the Taliban in the tribal area of South Waziristan.”We call on the new head of the Pakistani Army, General Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani, to order an investigation into this serious incident, which threatens the life and work of this journalist who has committed himself to reporting on the situation in the tribal areas,” Reporters Without Borders said.”It is vital that the person who made these threats and insults should be punished. We express our complete solidarity with Sailab Mehsud”, the organisation added.Mehsud told the worldwide press freedom organisation that a Military Intelligence (MI) officer based in Dera Ismail Kahn called him on his mobile phone on 30 September and threatened him with abduction.”He introduced himself as a member of Military Intelligence based at Dera Ismail Khan, insulted me and said I would disappear and that future generations would never find me. Then he insulted my mother”, he said. “I was completely demoralised after this incident. No-one has ever spoken about my mother, who is very dear to me, in such terms before.””I spoke to the military spokesman about it, who told me to send him a written complaint. The MI should be held responsible if anything happens to me,” Mehsud added.Another journalist originally from the tribal areas, Hayatullah Khan, correspondent for Pakistani dailies Nation and Ausaf and a photographer for the European Press Photo Agency (EPA), was kidnapped in December 2005 and murdered in circumstances which have never been fully elucidated. Despite three official reports, the authorities have never seriously attempted to indentify and try those responsible. June 2, 2021 Find out more Organisation RSF_en Pakistani journalist critical of the military wounded by gunfire PakistanAsia – Pacific News Help by sharing this information News October 8, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Military officer in tribal areas threatens journalist with kidnap News Follow the news on Pakistan Pakistani supreme court acquits main suspect in Daniel Pearl murder News Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists January 28, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts to go further April 21, 2021 Find out more
21 years laterA man, who was evading Police for the past 21 years for the murder of his wife, was hauled before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts on Monday.Philbert Thomas, 46, appeared before Magistrate Leron Daly and was not required to plead to the indictable charge which stated that on September 5, 1998 at Cubacalli, Waini, North West District, Region One (Barima-Waini) he murdered Viola Thomas.Philbert ThomasAccording to Police information, Thomas allegedly murdered his then 23-year-old wife, a resident of Cubacalli, Waini, North West District, during a fun day in 1998.It was reported that Thomas stabbed his wife several times about her body, and then made good his escape.However, it was only recently that the accused was arrested, charged and remanded to prison for inflicting grievous bodily harm to his ex-lover and her companion.It was after him being charged that the mother of the late Viola Thomas saw his photograph in the newspaper as Philbert Thomas. For that charge, he gave his name as Gilbert Thomas but the woman nonetheless went to the Police. The dead woman’s mother went to the Acquero Police Station and made a report stating he was the man who is wanted in connection with the murder of her daughter.Following the killing in 1998, the Director of Public Prosecution had recommended that the suspect be charged with murder, as the fugitive was in hiding. The matter was heard at the Acquero Magistrates’ Court, Region One, where several witnesses testified against Thomas, who was charged in absentia.Eight years later, the matter was recalled at the same court and was adjourned with no appointed date for resumption (sine die).Following his identification recently, a court order was filed and Philbert Thomas, called Gilbert Thomas, was identified by the murder victim’s mother and he subsequently confessed to the crime.The accused was remanded to prison and the case will continue on September 9, when he will appear before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan for reassignment.Thomas was last month charged for felonious wounding committed on his ex-lover Dally Gobin and her friend Leaymond Smith. It was reported that on the day in question, the victims were imbibing at Gobin’s house when the suspect showed up without being invited. This resulted in a heated argument which led to a scuffle. Thomas allegedly whipped out a knife and dealt Gobin one stab to her breast. He then turned his attention to Smith and stabbed him once before fleeing the scene.The victims were taken to the Kwakwani Hospital, where they were treated and referred to the Linden Hospital Complex. There they were admitted, and subsequently discharged.Thomas was arrested while hiding at a camp in the Hururu Backlands, and was subsequently charged.