The infamous incident- that of the attach by the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) at a security checkpost at a Kharqamar checkpoint in North Waziristan — has been a disturbing event with much propaganda surrounding the facts. In the guise of clearing the uncertainty, there are some who claiming that their professional responsibilities took them to the scene of the attack. Yet, once there, there are reports of these persons not just being part of the mob, and there specifically as a political statement. There is also concern about these persons being known to have been raising separatist slogans at the scene.

Was it journalism in Pakistan that was threatened when Gohar Wazir, a reporter from Khyber News, was arrested from Bannu on Tuesday? Was he arrested for conducting an interview of PTM leader, and Member of Parliament, Mohsin Dawar? His arrest has received condemnation from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), which has urged Pakistan to immediately release Gohar. Yet, the circumstances surrounding his presence there are unclear, and rather point to his involvement as a sympathizer of the PTM movement, rather than as an empirical observer.

Gohar’s arrest is not clear to have been in the line of duty as a professional. As journalists, it is our obligation to interview and report , and also to follow the law.

Mohsin Dawar, who is a Member of Parliament, and thus an authority figure, and who leads a movement with a sizable number of followers, is no doubt a person of news interest. Yet, when the person reporting on the story is also there raising slogans that are highly inflammatory and counter to the solemnity and sanctity of the security of the state, then we do have to ask, was their arrest for the so-called ‘sin’ of an interview?

Arresting good-faith journalists merely covering the event would backfire. And in highly difficult and dangerous situations journalists have performed their duties with great courage and professionalism. Yet, participating activities which are anti-state, and insisting that this one was merely reporting, is a little unbelievable also. In this age of constant scrutiny, there is no doubt that the truth will out. Mr Gohar will either be released if he is found not to be the same person who was involved in raising secessionist slogans. Or he will be detained, and quite rightly asked, whether it was the so-called ‘sin’ of an interview that brought him to the attention of the law enforcement authorities.