No one named in report on Shahzad`s killing

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 16:45

Islamabad: The Pakistani judicial commission
that probed the abduction and murder of journalist Syed Saleem
Shahzad has not held any institution or individual responsible
for the crime, according to media reports on Wednesday.

Though the commission was given six weeks to investigate
the incident after Shahzad was killed in May last year, it
took six months to finalise its findings.

The commission led by a Supreme Court judge submitted its
report to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani yesterday.

The report has not held any institution or individual
responsible for the abduction, torture and murder of Shahzad,
an unnamed member of the commission was quoted as saying by
The Express Tribune.

The Dawn newspaper quoted its sources as saying that the
panel had "stopped short of fixing responsibility for the
journalist`s killing".

The commission’s members have agreed that the report
would be made public only by the government.

"We have strongly recommended that the report be made
public by government as soon as possible," an unnamed member
told the Dawn.

The commission had failed in the main purpose for which
it was formed, The Express Tribune reported.

Under the commission`s terms of reference, it was asked
to "inquire into the background and circumstance" of Shahzad`s
murder and to "indentify the culprits involved" in the crime.

Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists president Pervaiz
Shaukat, a member of the commission, said that while the panel
had not held anyone directly responsible, it had included its
doubts and concerns in the report.

The report included PFUJ’s recommendations for the safety
and welfare of journalists and for the financial aid to be
provided to Shahzad’s family, Shaukat said.

The commission asked the government to establish an
ombudsman’s office to redress grievances of journalists.

It asked the government the bear the expenses for the
education of Shahzad’s children and to provide his family
financial compensation worth Rs 3 million.

The commission finalised its report after recording the
statements of 41 individuals, including representatives of the
Inter-Services Intelligence, Intelligence Bureau, Federal
Investigation Agency, police officers and journalists.

Shaukat said the government had given an assurance that
it will take action against the culprits in accordance with
the findings of the commission.

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
agency.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 16:45

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