Thursday, June 02, 2011

PAKISTAN: President of newspapers’ society confirms that Saleem Shahzad was receiving threats from ISI

Mr. Hameed Haroon, the chief executive officer of the Dawn, a leading daily newspaper of Pakistan and the president of the All Pakistan Newspaper Society, an organization of owners of the print media, has confirmed that the slain journalist, Mr. Saleem Shahzad, had received threatening messages from Pakistan’s notorious intelligence agency, the ISI on at least three occasions. Shahzad had not only informed his employer, the Asia Time Online but also Mr. Haroon and other friends of these threats.

This statement from Mr. Haroon refuted the charges of the ISI official that the accusation of the involvement of the ISI in Shahzad’s murder was baseless. Shahzad told Mr. Haroon in an email after a meeting on October 18, 2010, in which military and navy officers were present, that he was being pressurised to disclose his source of information about the release of a notorious Taliban commander from Pakistani custody.

The confirmation from a media house owner that Shahzad was under threat from the ISI is enough to expose the workings of the invisible intelligence agencies for the intimidation and murder of citizens in general and journalists in particular. The statement from the ISI was merely an attempt to cover up its common practice of threatening anyone it sees as a potential risk. It is no secret that every investigative journalist is expected to disclose the source of their information to the military run intelligence services.

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