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'Authorities close to identifying a suspect in Asad Toor case'

(Karachi) Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed has said that authorities are close to identifying an attacker responsible for physically assaulting journalist Asad Ali Toor in Islamabad last week.

Addressing a press briefing in Islamabad on Tuesday, Rasheed said that an investigation into the incident is being carried out by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and police, while help is also being taken from National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to trace the suspects.

He stated that it will only take one or two days to identify the fingerprints of the accused. The interior minister maintained that it is now necessary to catch the culprits as some individuals target the country’s security agencies.

“I think that if we are successful in reaching these attackers, all those who blame our agencies will be silenced,” he said. Rasheed pointed out that those criticizing state institutions are unaware of the damage they cause to the country’s image.

However, the minister reiterated that if the authorities fail to identify the accused then the government will publish ads in the newspapers with the photos of the three suspects.

He said that there needed to be a policy as such incidents raise question marks about the government’s performance and also become a human rights issue. “Also those targeting agencies, but have separate agendas, also go free,” he said.

On May 25, Toor was reportedly attacked in Islamabad after the attackers broke into his house and physically assaulted him. Soon after the incident, Islamabad IG Qazi Jameel-ur-Rehman formed an investigation team under the supervision of DIG Operations Afzaal Ahmed Kauser.

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