New York: Asking Pakistani government to take on the military and intelligence services, Human Rights Watch on Monday blasted the ISI and called for redoubling of efforts to identify the killers of investigative reporter Saleem Shahzad.
"The Pakistani government should redouble efforts to find the killers of the journalist Saleem Shahzad, following the failure of the judicial inquiry commission to identify those responsible" the human rights group said in a statement.
"The ISI has a long and well-documented history of abductions, torture, and extra-judicial killings of critics of the military and others," it said.
"The commission`s failure to get to the bottom of the Shahzad killing illustrates the ability of the ISI to remain beyond the reach of Pakistan’s criminal justice system," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
"The government still has the responsibility to identify
those responsible for Shahzad`s death and hold them
accountable, no matter where the evidence leads," he said.
The Pakistani judicial commission that probed the killing
of Shahzad had suggested he could have been murdered by
"belligerent" elements involved in the war on terror and had
said all intelligence agencies should be made more
The commission`s report, which was submitted to the Prime
Minister earlier this month, did not single out any person or
organisation who could have killed Shahzad but left room open
for a further probe.
Shahzad was abducted while driving from his house to a
television station in Islamabad on May 29 last year, two days
after he alleged in an article that al Qaeda had infiltrated
the Pakistan Navy.
His body, bearing marks of severe torture, was found the
next day in a canal near Mandi Bahauddin, a district of Punjab
province. Rights groups and journalists` bodies had alleged
that he was killed by the ISI, a charge denied by the spy