ISI left out in Pakistani journalist’s killing report: HRW

January 30th, 2012 - 6:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, Jan 30 (IANS/AKI) International rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) Monday said the report on the killing of Pakistani journalist Saleem Shahzad deliberately ignored the possible involvement of spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Pakistan must “redouble” its efforts to get to the bottom of the 40-year-old journalist’s murder, an HRW statement said.

“Despite strong indications of ISI involvement, the commission concluded that the Pakistani state, militant groups including the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and unnamed ‘foreign actors’ could all have had a motive to kill Shahzad on the basis of his writings,” HRW Asia director Brad Adams said.

“ISI abuses will only stop if it is subject to the rule of law, civilian oversight, and public accountability. It is the government’s duty to insist on such accountability and the military’s duty to submit to it. The ISI needs to stop acting as a state within a state,” Adams said.

The badly beaten body of Shahzad, who worked as Southeast Asia bureau chief for Asia Times Online and also for AKI, was found 150 km southwest of Islamabad in May, two days after he disappeared from the capital.

An inquiry commission headed by a Supreme Court justice presented its report to the prime minister after six months. Nobody was named responsible for Shahzad’s abduction, torture and murder.

Suspicion over the murder fell strongly on the ISI, which denied involvement.

Days before Shahzad’s disappearance, he had published an article in Asia Times Online alleging links between the Al Qaeda and officials in the Pakistani navy.

Over 70 journalists have been killed in Pakistan since 2000.


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