Shahzad was killed for reporting truth: Pakistani dailyJune 1st, 2011 - 1:25 pm ICT by IANS
Islamabad, June 1 (IANS) Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad, thought to have been picked up by the ISI and later found tortured and murdered, “paid the price for reporting the truth”, a leading daily said Wednesday.
Shahzad, who wrote extensively on Islamist groups, went missing Sunday. The body of 40-year-old correspondent of Hong Kong-based Asia Times Online was found in a canal in Mandi Bahauddin area of Punjab province.
An editorial in the Daily Times said: “It is a sad day, nay black day, for journalism in Pakistan that a journalist was picked up from the capital and his tortured body dumped in another town while the perpetrators of this gory crime roam free.”
Shahzad is widely believed to have been seized by intelligence officials for alleging that terrorists attacked a major naval base in Karachi May 22 after the navy refused to free sailors held for suspected militant links.
The editorial said this was not the first time a journalist had lost his life for honest reporting.
“In the past we have been witness to the deaths of many brave journalists in Pakistan, especially in Balochistan, FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“Journalists in Pakistan are between a rock and a hard place: they face threats both from the militants and our intelligence agencies.
“When journalists write or speak against terrorists, they receive threats. When they expose our military’s links with terrorists, they are harassed.
“Threats, harassment, abduction and even murder is what journalists in Pakistan are victims of, all too frequently.”
The editorial said that Shahzad’s brutal murder “seems like a warning to Pakistan’s journalist community that if they continue to report honestly, they can be killed”.
It warned that if people of Pakistan do “not wake up and speak out against such brutalities, every sane voice in the country will die a silent death. If we remain quiet, this will be our own self-inflicted Holocaust”.
The editorial asked: “How many more innocents have to die before we realise that our country is a war zone where no one is safe from either our so-called saviours or the terrorists.
“Shahzad and many others like him paid the price for reporting the truth… In a country where terrorists, murderers, rapists and criminals roam free, deaths of innocents are all but inevitable.”
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Tags: abduction, asia times, brutal murder, holocaust, honest reporting, intelligence agencies, intelligence officials, isi, islamabad, islamist groups, journalists, karachi, militants, pakistani journalist, perpetrators, rock and a hard place, sad day, sailors, sane voice, silent death