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Pakistan should "redouble efforts" on Shahzad murder probe: HRW

January 30, 2012

Slain journalist Saleem Shahzad.—File Photo

KARACHI: The Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a news release on Monday said that the inability of the commission, formed to investigate the death of Pakistani journalist Saleem Shahzad, in naming those responsible was a matter of concern.

The HRW moreover stated that the Pakistani government should “redouble efforts” to find responsibility for the death of the journalist who had reported that militants had infiltrated the military.

Shahzad, who used to worked for an Italian news agency and a Hong Kong-registered news site, had told the Human Rights Watch that he had been getting threats from intelligence agents.

“The commission’s failure to get to the bottom of the Shahzad killing illustrates the ability of the ISI to remain beyond the reach of Pakistan’s criminal justice system,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

“The government still has the responsibility to identify those responsible for Shahzad’s death and hold them accountable, no matter where the evidence leads.”

The commission which didn’t single out any person or organisation for the murder, in turn, left the room open for further probe.

“The commission appeared fearful of confronting the ISI over Shahzad’s death,” said Adams.

“Shahzad had made it clear to Human Rights Watch that should he be killed, the ISI should be considered the principal suspect. He had not indicated he was afraid of being killed by militant groups or anybody else.”

The ISI has in the past denied as “baseless” allegations that it was involved in Shahzad’s murder.

Shahzad, a 40-year-old father of three, had 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.