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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/1/11

Now Pakistan Is Not A Safe Place For Journalists

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Now Pakistan is note a secure place for journalists as the establishment has been trying to gag the voice of journalists. The killing of a prominent journalist Saleem Shehzad is a warning to all journalist to stop speaking the truth or face the music. Journalists in whole Pakistan observed protest against the killing of Saleem Shehzad. Journalist leaders held the government responsible for the gruesome murder of a journalist near Pakistani capital Islamabad. 
Saleem Shehzad, who has been working with Asia Times Online besides contributing stories and articles to various prints and online media has been tortured to death by unknown criminals. His body was found in a town situated near Islamabad.
Actually Pakistan is being ruled by terrorists at the moment. The killing of Osama bin Laden in a garrison city Abbottabad is enough for initiating criminal proceeding against the rulers of Pakistan, but still the world has been keeping mum. It is regrettable to note that rulers of Pakistan are busy in killing their own people besides preparing plans for carrying out more terror attacks in the world, but world rulers are silent.
According to media reports, Grief-stricken relatives have demanded that Pakistan investigate the torture and murder of an investigative journalist whose disappearance was blamed on the country's shadowy intelligence services.
Saleem Shahzad, a 40-year-old father of three, vanished after leaving 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.
Shahzad carved out a career writing about the plethora of militant networks operating in Pakistan, and warned human rights campaigners before his disappearance that he had been threatened by the Inter-Services Intelligence.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned his murder and said his "reporting on terrorism and intelligence issues in Pakistan brought to light the troubles extremism poses to Pakistan's stability".
Shahzad's body was found Tuesday, about 150 kilometres southeast of Islamabad. Police said it bore marks of torture.
"The cause of death is torture and there are several signs of torture on his body and face," said Ashok Kumar, one of the doctors who carried out a post-mortem at Islamabad's Pakistan Institute of Medical Science.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik confirmed that a police investigation had been ordered and promised a reward of 2.5 million rupees.
"Anyone giving us information, evidence or clue about the murder will be given a reward of 2.5 million rupees," he told reporters.
Reporters Without Borders says 16 journalists have now been killed since the start of 2010 in Pakistan, which it ranks 151st out of 178 countries in its press freedom index.
Shahzad worked for Italian news agency Adnkronos (AKI) and Asia Times Online, a news site registered in Hong Kong. After he vanished on Sunday, AKI said they feared he had been kidnapped.
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Muhammad Khurshid, a resident of Bajaur District, tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border is journalist by profession. He contributes articles and news stories to various online and print newspapers. His subject matter is terrorism. He is (more...)

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