Pakistan journalist Saleem Shahzad dead: Another one bites the dust

(Asian Correspondent) May, 31, 2011 – Four days ago, Saleem Shahzad, a journalist working for the Asia Times, penned this report on the extent of al-Qaeda’s infiltration in the Navy at lower levels, and how the attack on PNS-Mehran tied into an investigation of the same. At the top of the story, we read that “this is the first article in a two-part report”. How wrong he was.

Two days ago, Saleem Shahzad disappeared.

Today, he re-appeared, dead.

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Shahzad, 40, who worked for an Italian news agency and an online news site registered in Hong Kong,
went missing. His body was found dead 150 kilometres (93 miles) southeast of Islamabad.
(Dawn Photo)

I am more angry than sad right now. I literally cannot believe that the ISI acted with such impunity. They can pick someone one up, torture and murder them, and expect absolutely no legal recrimination.

Remember, these people’s job is to protect us. But they torture and kill us, and protect Osama bin Laden and Hafiz Saeed instead.

A commission set up by the government to investigate the killing of journalist Saleem Shahzad mired in controversy

They do this in Balochistan most every day, what with student activists, nationalists, and regular party workers ending up in gutters, but they have made the entirely rational calculation that no one in Pakistan cares about Balochistan — watch the video in this Cafe Pyala post if you don’t believe me. This feels somehow different, because his abduction was front page news. And yet they still went ahead and killed him.

When Saleem Shahzad disappeared, I honestly thought he’d just get beaten up and abused, like they did Umar Cheema. I never actually considered the possibility that they would kill him, especially when Human Rights Watch had “credible” information that he had been picked up by the ISI.

    “While the ISI was said to have bristled at previous reports by Shahzad, his disappearance happened two days after he wrote a story for Asia Times Online that said that al-Qaeda had attacked a naval base in the port city of Karachi on May 22 after talks had broken down between the Pakistan navy and the global terrorist organization. In his report, Shahzad claimed that al-Qaeda had carried out the attack in retaliation for the arrest of naval officials suspected of links with the terrorist group. The 17-hour attack on the Karachi naval base by at least four people led to the destruction of two Lockheed Martin P-3C Orion aircraft that had been enhanced with counterterrorism capabilities.”

"But I will not let myself be reduced to silence."

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