US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton,condemned the kidnapping and killing of Pakistani journalist. Syed Saleem Shahzad, who worked for Adn Kronos International and La Stampa writing articles and books on the collusion between al Qaeda and Pakistani security and intelligence establishment. “His enquiries on terrorism and intelligence had surfaced the issues caused by extremism and the threat for Pakistan’s stability.
“The United States strongly condemns the abduction and killing of reporter Syed Saleem Shahzad,” Ms Clinton said in a statement.
“His work reporting on terrorism and intelligence issues in Pakistan brought to light the troubles extremism poses to Pakistan’s stability,” she said.
Mrs Clinton also welcomed the investigation into the killing.
Mr Shahzad’s funeral will take place in his native city of Karachi on Wednesday. His article about al-Qaeda infiltration in Pakistan’s navy was recently published.
International and national journalists and human rights campaigners are demanding answers for the murder of Saleem Shahzad, who Human Rights Watch said, told them before he was abducted that he was under threat from the Inter-Services Intelligence, the powerful spy agency.
Saleem Shehzad’s cold blooded murder has sparked outrage in the country, with editorials, blogs and tweets calling it a “bloody chapter” in the country’s history of press safety.
On Tuesday as news of Shahzad’s murder filtered through, sending a chill through anyone connected with the profession , the journalists on the frontlines showed little signs of intimidation. Here’s an editorial from The Daily Times that minces few words :
This should also serve as an eye-opener for those who have been apologising for the military and the Taliban alike. 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. Mr Shahzad and many others like him paid the price for reporting the truth. We must stop blaming external forces for what we are facing right now. In a country where terrorists, murderers, rapists and criminals roam free, deaths of innocents are all but inevitable. How many more people will have to sacrifice their lives before we finally call a spade a spade? Pakistan is in a deep mess right now and it is all our own doing. Let’s wake up to this reality before our soil turns completely red (if it has not already) with the blood of our citizens. RIP Saleem Shahzad; we cannot condemn or mourn your death adequately in words. Our only salvation now lies in bringing Mr Shahzad’s murderers to book.
Underscoring the dangers of reporting in Pakistan, the lead piece in Dawn said today, “‘…another chapter to the bloody history of Pakistan’s press freedom record.”
The Guardian quoted Pakistan talk show host Quatrina Husain as saying : “We want an answer. We need an answer. We deserve an answer.” Others directly blamed the spy agencies.
Author Mohammad Hanif tweeted : Any journalist here who doesn’t believe that it’s our intelligence agencies ?”