Wednesday, June 1, 2011

As 2010's World’s Deadliest Country for the Press, Pakistan Has a Track Record

Not a single one of the killers has been brought to justice

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists,  Pakistan became the world’s deadliest country for the press in 2010, with at least eight journalists killed there in connection with their work, constituting a significant portion of the worldwide death toll.

Since 1992, 36 journalists have been killed in Pakistan. On June 1, that number officially became 37 with the death of Syed Saleem Shahzad.

Pakistan: Silencing the truth-seekers
The kidnapping and murder of Syed Saleem Shahzad, the bureau chief for Asia Times Online in Pakistan, only days after he had exposed a link between al-Qaeda and servicemen is a tragic reminder that the nation is "the world’s most dangerous country for journalists". Saleem's journey took him from the back streets of Karachi to the badlands of the AfPak border in the search of truth, and he paid the ultimate price.
- Karamatullah K Ghori (Jun 1, '11)

Justice, not words
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has made all the right noises over the death of Syed Saleem Shahzad. This means nothing unless the killers are brought to justice.
Asia Times Online (Jun 1, '11)

Target: Saleem

When a Pakistani journalist - not a foreigner - writes that al-Qaeda is infiltrated deep inside the military establishment, the mission's on. You abduct, torture and snuff him. Assassination, low-tech, is how they finally got Saleem. And "they" had to be the Inter-Services Intelligence - as he knew, and told us, all along.
- Pepe Escobar (Jun 1, '11)

Asia Times Online journalist feared dead

Syed Saleem Shahzad, the Pakistan Bureau Chief for Asia Times Online who went missing on Sunday evening, has been killed, according to police.
Shahzad, who has been writing for Hong Kong-based Asia Times Online for nearly 10 years, failed to show up for a scheduled appearance on a television talk show in the capital Islamabad.
Asia Times Online (Jun 1,'11)

Who Killed Saleem Shahzad?
Courageous Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad, who had scored major scoops on al Qaeda and the Taliban, was abducted and brutally murdered this week. Was the ISI, the country’s shady intelligence agency, to blame? Ron Moreau, Fasih Ahmed, and Marvi Sirmed report on the ISI’s history of intimidation—and why Shahzad’s death may have been a bloody warning to scare off their critics in the media.
-Ron Moreau | The Daily Beast

The piece that may have offended a host of characters, most especially inside the government of Pakistan:

Al-Qaeda had warned of Pakistan strike
Al-Qaeda carried out the brazen attack on PNS Mehran naval air station in Karachi on May 22 after talks failed between the navy and al-Qaeda over the release of naval officials arrested on suspicion of al-Qaeda links, an Asia Times Online investigation reveals.
Syed Saleem Shahzad (May 27,'11)

Syed Saleem Shahzad's book, Inside Al-Qaeda and the Taliban,  Beyond Bin Laden and 9/11 was released on May 20, a few days before his abduction. He left behind a wife and three children, the youngest only 7 years old.

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