Leading Pakistani television anchor Hamid Mir escaped a bid on his life on Monday with the timely detection of a bomb planted in his car. He has now been provided a security detail by the government and Interior Minister Rehman Malik announced a Rs. 50 million reward for anyone providing information that could lead to the arrest of those involved.
According to Mr. Mir, the bomb was noticed by a driver of another car when the vehicle was parked at the F-7 market, a key shopping area here. The car was left unattended in the parking lot as Mr. Mir and his driver went into the market for some work. Upon return to the vehicle, another driver drew their attention to an object dangling from the underside of their car.
Since he had been receiving threats, Mr. Mir — who hosts the widely watched prime time talk show ‘Capital Talk’ on Geo News — immediately alerted the police and the bomb disposal squad. The police said half a kg of explosive material was packed into a box along with a detonator.
Last month, following the attack on Malala Yousafzai and the public outcry over it, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan had threatened to target local and international media for its coverage of the story. Several media organisations had beefed up security following the threat.
The attempt on Mr. Mir’s life drew widespread condemnation from both the media and political circles. The Press Freedom Index 2011-2012 — released by Reporters Without Borders last week — named Pakistan as the world’s deadliest country for journalists for the second year running.