Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saleem Shahzad murderers could not be traced

Saleem Shahzad commission “unable to identify the culprits”

ISLAMABAD: A judicial commission investigating into thelast year murder of a journalist, Saleem Shahzad, had not been able to find his murderers.
The slain journalist had reported that Islamist militants had infiltrated the military.

Saleem Shahzad, a 40-year-old father of three, vanished in May last year after leaving his home in Islamabad to appear on a television talk show, two days after writing an article about links between rogue elements of the navy and al Qaeda following an attack on a naval base.

The journalist, who worked for an Italian news agency and a Hong Kong-registered news site, told Human Rights Watch he had been threatened by intelligence agents.

The Inter-Services Intelligence directorate has denied as “baseless” allegations that it was involved in his murder.

A government commission set up to investigate the death and comprised of senior judges, provincial police chiefs and a journalist representative was unable to trace Shahzad’s killers, said its concluding report released Friday.

The report said the inquiry had met 23 times and interviewed 41 witnesses, as well as examining a large batch of relevant documents.

In concluding remarks, the report said that Shahzad’s death should be examined in the context of the “war on terror”.

“The Pakistani state, the non-state actors such as the Taliban and al Qaeda, and foreign actors” could all have had a motive to commit the crime.

But “the commission has been unable to identify the culprits”, it said.

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