Afghan journalist wounded in attack in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Ahmad Hanayish, a distinguished Afghan journalist, was seriously injured in an armed attack in Islamabad, according to the Afghanistan Journalists Center.

Hanayish, also known by his birth name Abdul Aleem Saqib and the head of Radio Kahkashan, a private media outlet, and a journalist for Radio Azadi, fell victim to the attack late Wednesday in the capital of Pakistan. The Afghanistan Journalists Center has called on Pakistani authorities to prioritize the safety and rights of Afghan journalist immigrants, urging transparency and fairness in handling the incident.

A relative disclosed that Hanayish was assaulted by two gunmen on a motorcycle in Islamabad’s G6 sector as he returned from an evening walk around 11 p.m. He sustained at least three bullet wounds in the attempt to flee, including one to the head and two to the leg.

Hanayish was promptly taken to a hospital, where doctors reported that the head wound was not critical, but surgery was necessary for his leg injuries. The assailants fled the scene, and their motive remains unclear.

Originally from Charikar city in central Afghanistan’s Parwan province, Hanayish is recognized for founding Radio Kahkashan and Radio Dunya, as well as managing Khorasan Radio in Panjshir province and reporting in the northern provinces of Kabul. Despite the closure of Khorasan and Dunya radios following the fall of Afghanistan’s republican government in August 2021, Kahkashan continues to operate.

Prior to leaving Afghanistan approximately a year ago, Hanayish contributed to the Afghanistan Journalists’ Center as a board member. He has since resided in Islamabad with his family.

The Afghanistan Journalists Center has condemned the assault on Hanayish and is calling upon Pakistani authorities to ensure the journalist’s treatment and safety, along with that of other Afghan journalist immigrants, citing a rise in attacks, threats, and harassment against Afghan immigrants in Pakistan over the past two years.