Khwaja`s family to register murder case against Hamid Mir

Last Updated: Friday, May 21, 2010 - 14:13

Lahore: The family of slain former ISI
official Khalid Khwaja, who was kidnapped and killed by
militants in Pakistan`s tribal belt, has said it will get a
murder case registered against popular television anchor Hamid Mir.

Mir has been at the centre of a controversy since a
purported telephone conversation between him and a Taliban
operative was posted on several websites.

The Daily Times newspaper, which first reported on the
tape, has said that information passed on by Mir to the
Taliban "could have led to the execution" of Khwaja.

Osama Khalid, the son of the slain former
Inter-Services Intelligence official, told a news agency: "We are going
to the police and the Supreme Court in a few days to get a
case registered against Mir as he was instrumental in the
murder of my father by the Punjabi Taliban."

He added: "The person who was conversing with Mir on
phone about my father was Usman Punjabi alias Umer. I
recognise his voice as he (Usman) had spoken to me on five or
six occasions when my father was being held by the militants.

A hitherto unheard of group called the Asian Tigers
claimed responsibility for the abduction and killing of
Khwaja. It said Khwaja was killed as he had admitted to
working as a spy for the US and the Pakistani military
establishment.

Reports have suggested that Usman Punjabi is the head
of the Asian Tigers.

In the recording, Mir is heard accusing Khwaja of
being a double agent working for the CIA and of having played
a "dirty" role in the 2007 military operation against radical
elements holed up in the Lal Masjid in Islamabad.

"I have with me the call record (of the conversation
between Mir and Usman Punjabi). The call was made on April 19 and the video of my father`s confessional statement was
released to the media on April 23. That is enough evidence to
lay hands on this so-called journalist for his role in the
killing of my father," Osama said.

Khwaja was kidnapped with another ISI official Sultan
Amir Tarar alias Col Imam and British journalist of Pakistani
origin Asad Qureishi on March 26 while en route to Waziristan
ostensibly to make a documentary on Taliban.

Khwaja was shot dead on April 30 while the two other
men are still in the custody of the Asian Tigers.

Osama further said: "The mistake my father committed
was that he had told Mir that he was heading to Waziristan on
a peace mission. Mir disclosed this to his friends there.

"The whole family is in shock as to how Mir could do
this to my father," he said.

Osama urged Pakistan`s Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry
to order a judicial inquiry to "find out the truth".

Osama further said that when his father was in the
captivity of the Asian Tigers, Usman Punjabi contacted other
journalists like Salim Shahzad, Kashif Abbasi, Rahimullah
Yusufzai and Mushtaq Yusufzai to get their viewpoint on his
father`s activities.

"These journalists will be on my side in the legal
procedure," he claimed.

Mir has described the recording as "doctored" and a
"fabrication".

He said: "It is part of a larger game to malign him."

PTI



First Published: Friday, May 21, 2010 - 14:13

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