Pakistan: journalist gunned down for supporting love marriage


ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani journalist has been brutally shot dead by the relatives of a woman for supporting her in marrying a man of her choice without the family’s permission in Punjab province, sparking massive protests.

Ajmal Joyia, who was in his 30s, was going home on a motorbike when he was targeted by at least three gunmen in Lodhran district.

He was killed on Monday while his cousin, who was also riding on the same motorbike, was critically injured, police said.

“Joyia was targeted by the relatives of a woman who married a man of her choice without the permission of the family,” a police official said.

He had reportedly extended his support to the beleaguered couple and was said to have approached district authorities to provide the couple with adequate security, reports said.

Police have arrested one of the killers while two others were still at large.

Journalists in various cities of Punjab organised protests against the killing and demanded arrest of the killers and financial compensation for Joyia’s family.

Honour killings are common in Pakistan and women defying family for love or marriage are often killed. Sometimes those supporting such couple are also targeted.

Last month, a teenaged girl was killed and her body was burnt in Abbotabad district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province for allegedly helping her friend run away with a boy and marry him.

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