Pakistan fails to trace journalist’s killers

January 13th, 2012 - 3:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Yousuf Raza Gilani Islamabad, Jan 13 (IANS) Pakistan has failed to trace the killers of journalist Saleem Shahzad who was tortured before his body was dumped in a canal last year, a probe report said.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan said the report of the Saleem Shahzad commission is to be made public Friday.

The minister said according to the commission report, the killers of the slain journalist could not be traced so far, but police and law enforcement agencies have been directed to continue investigation.

Journalist Shahzad, 40, was kidnapped in Islamabad May 29 last year. Two days later, his body, bearing marks of severe torture, was found dumped in a canal in Punjab province.

Shahzad is widely believed to have been picked up by intelligence officials for alleging in an article that terrorists attacked a key naval base in Karachi May 22 after the navy refused to free sailors held for suspected militant links.

The minister said the report was being made public on the directives of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, reported Associated Press of Pakistan.

Firdous said the commission has advised that the widow of Shazad be provided Rs.3 million, a teaching job in a government institution near her residence, and free education to his children upto graduation.

The Saleem Shahzad commission had submitted its report to the prime minister Tuesday last.

The commission met from June 27, 2011 to Jan 9, 2012 and held 23 meetings.

Pervaiz Shaukat, president of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and a member of the commission, told APP that the commission finalized its report in six months after interviews of 41 people.

He said the government has assured action in accordance with the findings of the judicial commission.

Shaukat said the report also includes their recommendations for the journalist community and financial assistance to Shahzad’s family.

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