VOA Deewa Radio reporter Mukarram Khan Aatif was taking part in evening prayers at a local mosque near his home in the town of Shabqadar when two masked men rode up on motorcycles and shot him in the head and chest before riding away. Aatif died of his wounds on January 17, 2012, after being taken to a hospital in the city of Peshawar. The Taliban claimed responsibility.
Aatif was also a reporter for local TV stations in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), a stronghold of Taliban and al-Qaeda militants who are blamed for the deaths of more than two dozen journalists since 2004. Aatif was a native of the Mohmand tribal district from which he was forced to move following threats on his life. He settled in Shabqadar, a subdivision of the Charsadda district roughly 15 miles north of Peshawar.
Aatif, along with other Deewa journalists, faced repeated threats from militants in the region. According to the Associated Press, Ihsanullah Ihsan claimed Aatif had been warned “a number of times to stop anti-Taliban reporting, but he didn’t do so. He finally met his fate.”
He is survived by his wife.