Syed Saleem Shahzad (SSS), another of those Pakistani reporters who went missing first and later found murdered. It is that mechanical in Pakistan now, anyone who dares to write/report something about ISI and the country’s links with terrorist organizations like Al Qaida or Lashkar e Taiba (LeT) is treated in this manner. Pakistan is now the most dangerous place to report from for professional journalists after Iraq.
He was a reporter for Asia Times Online and this time, on May 27th he had reported regarding the Mehran base attack in Karachi and revealed that Al Qaida operatives attacked the base after talks with Al Qaida broke down over the release of naval officers arrested for suspected links with the terror group. As a result he was abducted and then tortured to death with his body found around 130 kms from country’s capital Islamabad dumped in a canal and reports say that there were clear signs of physical torture. His right ribs had been broken, his lungs were punctured and his liver had failed. And all the fingers pointed to Pakistan’s Intelligence agency ISI and no need to mention what kind of activities ISI is involved in, also it is clear from Headley’s revelations in Chicago about the role of ISI in 26/11 Bombay attacks. What Headley stated was as obvious as stating that water is wet and fire is hot. Another thing that made ISI take this step was the launch of his book Inside Al-Qaida: Beyond Bin Laden and 9/11 which was released last week and had some writings about the alleged link ups of Al Qaida and the ISI. It has not been released in India but I would love to read it.
The ISI, under intense pressure to deny involvement in SSS’s murder, has so far made no comment till now, if it were not involved then someone from the ISI should’ve said a thing or two about its non involvement in this matter but the this silence till now simply proves that ISI was involved and is now in search for some comments which would prove them innocent.
On first note, it is possible only in a country like Pakistan that the country’s security agency is associated with Al Qaida and the breed. On second note it seems that Pakistan’s journalists have become the new soldiers wedged between the jihadists and the security agencies. Had it been an American journalist like Daniel Pearl on SSS’s place then maybe a fuss would’ve been made by the western media and an Angelina Jolie starrer flick would have been produced on his story but the fact is that SSS was a Pakistani and his death now would be filed in as just another statistic.