His soul will RIP...
His soul will RIP...
inalilahi waina ilahi rajiun
Why dont we read his latest Book First and then make assumptions.. For a investigating Reporter of his caliber he had good connections everywhere.. RIP.
Pakistan spy agency faces more heat after reporter's killing
By Michael Georgy
ISLAMABAD | Wed Jun 1, 2011 9:02am EDT
(Reuters) - Speculation that Pakistan's military spy agency had a hand in the death of a prominent journalist has further discredited the organization already facing one of its worst crises after the killing of Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil.
Saleem Shahzad, who worked for Hong-Kong based Asia Times Online and Italian news agency Adnkronos International, disappeared from Islamabad on Sunday and his body was found in a
canal with what police said were torture marks.
Suspicion immediately fell on the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, bringing more bad publicity after the killing of bin Laden by U.S. special forces near the capital.
The U.S. raid opened the agency up to international suspicion it was complicit in hiding bin Laden, and to domestic criticism for failing to detect or stop the U.S. team.
"The ISI's image had already been tarnished and it is under so much pressure," said a former ISI officer. "It's never been as bad as this before."
Shahzad was investigating suspected links between the military and al Qaeda, a highly sensitive subject at a time when Washington is wondering how bin Laden was able to live for years in a town about a two-hour drive from ISI headquarters.
The military denies any collusion with al Qaeda.
Human Rights Watch said Shahzad, a 40-year-old father of three, had voiced concern about his safety after receiving threatening telephone calls from the ISI and was under surveillance since 2010.
The ISI rejected suggestions of its involvement and criticized the media for jumping to that conclusion.
"Baseless accusations against the country's sensitive agencies for their alleged involvement in Shahzad's murder are totally unfounded," the ISI said in a statement.
"In the absence of any evidence and when an investigation is still pending, such allegations tantamount to unprofessional conduct on the part of the media."
Analysts have not ruled out the possibility that he may have been killed by militants. Shahzad often wrote about al Qaeda and other groups.
"PUSHED TO THE WALL"
He was buried on Wednesday in his hometown of Karachi, where suicide bombings have killed hundreds and security forces face some of their toughest battles against militancy.
Shahzad's wooden coffin was lowered in a graveyard as relatives, journalists and politicians looked on.
"It's cruel. My brother is gone. How will I live without my brother?," asked his sister, Maryam, after prayers were said.
Pakistan has a vibrant press which often attacks the government over everything from corruption to poor services and economic stagnation.
But criticism of the ISI or military is rare.
Reporters say Shahzad's death raises troubling questions about freedoms in Pakistan, which receives billions in aid from ally Washington and describes itself is a democracy.
"It means we are being pushed to the wall and losing space to tyranny if the ISI carried this out," said Umar Cheema, a journalist who knows all about the risks of investigating Pakistan's security establishment.
Last year, he was picked up by suspected intelligence agents, driven to an unknown location, stripped naked and whipped with leather and a wooden rod, he said.
"Pakistan is my beloved country but nobody is safe in Pakistan. I live in what I call self-imposed house arrest because I am scared to go out," said Cheema.
Shahzad was killed after he wrote a story that claimed al Qaeda attacked a naval base in Karachi last month after negotiations with the military to release two naval officials accused of militant links broke down.
That assault further humiliated the Pakistani military.
Some believe that with its loss of credibility after the bin Laden fiasco, and the naval base siege, the ISI may come under more public scrutiny for its apparent failure to tackle militancy and ease suicide bombings.
"Fewer people believe that the ISI is this powerful agency. People will start asking tougher questions," said Rifaat Hussain, head of the Department of Defense and Strategic Studies at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad.
"They may be more willing to ask why the ISI is tapping the telephones of the opposition when it should be providing more security for the country."
But equally likely is that journalists will think twice about writing hard-hitting stories after Shahzad's death.
Others have died in similar circumstances in Pakistan, the world's most dangerous country for journalists, according to Reporters Without Borders.
"It is a death. The death of expression," said Matiullah Jan, a correspondent with Dawn News television.
"There is an apprehension in certain quarters that it's meant to send a shut-up message."
(Editing by Robert Birsel)
CENTCOM is saddened by the murder of journalist, Syed Saleem Shahzad, of Asia Times. Shahzad was a brave journalist who was not afraid to raise difficult questions when too many people reach for convenient conspiracy theories to explain events -- and sadly, he was killed for it.
Our condolences go out to his family and friends and to the Pakistani nation, which has given so much in this war on terror. Murders like this can only be stopped when we are able to overcome the terror threat that challenges peace on this planet.
CDR Bill Speaks
DET-United States Central Command
U.S. Central Command
June 2011 | Embassy of the United States Islamabad, Pakistan
However like I have said before, it could well be the terrorist cell within ISI which captured him and then killed him.
One of the ISI officials (Commodore Khalid Pervaiz from PN) who met him in October has been made the new commander of the Karachi naval base that was attacked.
Intriguing isn't it.
Pakistan’s spy agencies are suspected of ties to reporter’s death
By Karin Brulliard, Published: May 31 | Updated: Wednesday, June 1, 2:44 AM
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Last week, a prominent Pakistani investigative reporter published an article alleging that al-Qaeda had infiltrated Pakistan’s navy and carried out the recent attack on a naval air base. On Tuesday, the journalist’s body — his face severely beaten — was found 100 miles from his home in this capital city, two days after he disappeared.
Syed Saleem Shahzad’s killing, other journalists and human rights activists said they suspected, was payback — not from militants, but from Pakistan’s fearsome spy agencies. Shahzad had written before about their dealings with Islamist insurgents, and he had said that intelligence officers had warned him.
“I am forwarding this email to you for your record only if in case something happens to me or my family in future,” Shahzad, 40, wrote in October to the Pakistan representative of Human Rights Watch, sharing details of a meeting he had just had with officers from the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI. Shahzad suggested that they had threatened him, an experience that Pakistani journalists, activists and politicians say is not uncommon.
But those threats rarely end in killing, and Shahzad’s death immediately sparked fresh criticism of Pakistan’s intelligence apparatus. The “agencies,” as they are known here, last month faced unusual public condemnation for their apparent failure to locate Osama bin Laden in a garrison city, as well as allegations that they had harbored him.
On Tuesday, the focus was on activities Pakistan’s spies are better known for domestically: punishing those who cross the influential military, the main locus of power in a nation with a weak civilian government.
An ISI official denied that the agency was involved in Shahzad’s death. “Show us the proof. Otherwise, it’s totally absurd,” the official said, noting that Shahzad’s coverage might also have angered militant organizations. Pakistan’s interior minister, Rehman Malik, told journalists that the motive appeared to be “personal enmity.”
Shahzad’s killing also renewed attention on the alleged crossover between militants and Pakistan’s security forces, some of which he outlined in a recent article for the Hong Kong-based Asia Times Online, for which he was the Pakistan bureau chief. According to Shahzad’s reporting, last week’s attack on a Karachi naval base was a response to the Pakistani navy’s detection of al-Qaeda cells within its ranks, and it followed failed discussions between the navy and al-Qaeda about the release of naval officers arrested on suspicion of links to the terrorist group.
On Monday, Pakistani media reported that a former navy commando had been detained for questioning in the attack.
U.S. intelligence analysts are skeptical that al-Qaeda has penetrated Pakistan’s armed forces. “There’s not likely to be an organized al-Qaeda cell within the Pakistan navy,” a U.S. official said.
But U.S. officials said that there is a long-standing concern over the presence of Islamist militants — what one official referred to as “onesies and twosies” — among Pakistan’s military branches. Pakistan’s leaders privately share this concern, U.S. officials said.
On the radar
Shahzad, the author of a new book on al-Qaeda and the Taliban, was considered well connected to both the military establishment and militant groups. He persisted though the ISI had warned him several times about articles it “deemed detrimental to Pakistan’s national interests or image,” according to Asia Times Online.
In October, Shahzad told Human Rights Watch, the ISI summoned him over an article that said Pakistan had released Abdul Ghani Baradar, an Afghan Taliban commander arrested in Karachi in early 2010, so that he could play a part in reconciliation talks in Afghanistan. An ISI official asked Shahzad to identify his source and write a denial; Shahzad said he declined, allowing only that the story was leaked by intelligence and confirmed by “the most credible” Taliban source.
Then, Shahzad said, the official added what he called a “favor,” telling him that a militant had recently been arrested.
“The terrorist had a hit list with him,” the ISI official said, according to Shahzad’s written account. “If I find your name on the list I will certainly let you know.”
Shahzad disappeared Sunday evening as he drove through a genteel sector of Islamabad on the way to an interview at a television station. Before his body was found, Human Rights Watch said “credible sources” said they thought that he had been abducted by intelligence agents but that the sources indicated Shahzad would be released. Instead, police announced Tuesday that his body had been found, and photos aired on television indicated he had been beaten.
Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani condemned the killing and ordered an investigation.
Ali Dayan Hasan, the Pakistan representative for Human Rights Watch, said it would have been difficult for anyone unaffiliated with the security agencies to abduct a man and his car from Islamabad, a city riddled with police checkpoints.
More important, he and journalists said, Shahzad’s disappearance and treatment bore the hallmarks of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies — a topic few here are willing to discuss openly. Politicians whisper about being harassed and spied on. Nationalist activists in the province of Baluchistan, whom the security establishment views as insurgents, are regularly abducted or killed.
In April, the main opposition party, the Pakistan Muslim League-N, sharply criticized the spy agencies and vowed to bring evidence about their extralegal activities to Parliament. In a recent interview, however, opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said it would not be “appropriate” to detail those allegations until the government asked for them, which it has not.
“There should not be states within states. There should not be parallel policies being run by intelligence agencies,” he said.
Of the intelligence services, a Pakistani government official said: “They have two purposes in life: one is keeping control at home, and the other is the five letters,” a reference to the Pakistani military’s main foe, India.
In a nation where the big story is Islamist insurgency and the military’s fight against it, local journalists regularly receive threats from both sides, Hasan said. As a result, few journalists among Pakistan’s boisterous press corps are willing to openly criticize the military.
“It is becoming very dangerous indeed for journalists to perform their professional duties,” Hasan said.
Pakistan was the world’s most dangerous place for journalists in 2010, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, which said eight reporters were killed, most of them in militant attacks. Other journalists were abducted, including Umar Cheema, an investigative reporter for the News, an English-language daily.
Cheema, who has written several articles scrutinizing the army, says he was kidnapped from Islamabad and beaten for six hours. He has since spoken out about his ordeal, which he said he has determined was carried out by the ISI. In an interview, Cheema said he harbored doubts that the agency would go so far as to kill Shahzad. Nevertheless, he said, he and his colleagues feel more vulnerable.
“It’s a very strong message to the journalist community,” Cheema said. “If the ISI is not involved, they should come up with some evidence who has done it. Just denying it won’t work. It won’t remove the suspicions of the people.”
Pakistan’s spy agencies are suspected of ties to reporter’s death - The Washington Post
Incredibly sad news. I've been reading his articles on ATimes for a number of years, and he was an authoritative voice, with unrivalled contacts and knowledge.
The killers seem all too obvious, but you can't muzzle the truth, your activities that are destroying our nation will be exposed - God willing.
May God bless your soul Saleem, and may God save our country. Ameen.
Or it could be the CIA/India trying to undermine the ISI/PA domestically, since the ISI gains nothing from his murder.However like I have said before, it could well be the terrorist cell within ISI which captured him and then killed him.
If anything, his article was complementary to the ISI and military in arguing that Al Qaeda was extremely angry with the Military over its efforts to crackdown on Al Qaeda cells within the military, and its refusal to release captured Al Qaeda members.
Please explain why the military/ISI would find such commentary objectionable enough to murder a journalist?
Not really, more a coincidence than anything. KP was made commander of the Karachi Naval Base because of the terrorist attack on the base, and the replacement of the old commander. His posting was in the aftermath of the terrorist attack, not the muder of SS.One of the ISI officials (Commodore Khalid Pervaiz from PN) who met him in October has been made the new commander of the Karachi naval base that was attacked.
Intriguing isn't it.
But conspiratorial minds looking to bash the 'agencies, establishment and deep state' will cling to whatever straw they can find.
Where are the condolences to the families of innocent tribesmen who have lost their lives in your drone attacks...
If anything, the US embassy responding like this... I get the feeling that the CIA could be behind his murder...
Firstly... even if ISI is not involved in this... it is an utter failure and breakdown of our system when an innocent journalist is killed in this manner...
Secondly... all reports I m getting including from his family members are pointing fingers towards the ISI... so the ISI now needs to come out in the open and give a possible explanation that it is NOT involved in any manner... the accused should stand up and clarify their position...
Pasha (American stooge) should be summoned to a just court (which does nt exist in our country)... so like so many other crimes in our country... no justice should be expected in this case...
Last edited by Muhammad-Bin-Qasim; 06-02-2011 at 03:54 PM.
I get a sick feeling that the CIA wants to turn Pakistan into an Algeria by targeting and killing intellectuals, journalists etc with the support of intelligence agencies like the ISI...
As for those who think ISI is above all this... I know first hand that the ISI agents regularly harass political activists and at times have even threatened their family members in front of them... Their take on all that is that they are only following orders from above...
Although I wont say that they resort to killing because I do not have a prior report of such a thing... however torture and beatings is nothing for them... but as I said before... with an American stooge on top, expect any crime from them...
For me, this instance proves beyond doubt that there are rogue elements inside Pakistani establishment and it is hence more likely that Pakistan will roll down from here much faster than people would otherwise like.
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