`Pakistani journalist`s killers wanted to set an example`

Shahzad, was kidnapped in Islamabad and his body was found dumped in a canal in Punjab province.

Last Updated: Jun 04, 2011, 12:13 PM IST

Islamabad: The killers of Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad made no attempt to hide his body as they wanted to make his death "an example for other journalists", a police official said.

Shahzad, 40, was kidnapped in Islamabad Sunday and his body, bearing marks of severe torture, was found dumped in a canal in Punjab province Tuesday.

He is widely believed to have been seized by intelligence officials for alleging inhis article that terrorists attacked a key naval base in Karachi May 22 after the navy refused to free sailors held for suspected militant links.

"The killers could have set Shahzad`s (white Toyota Corolla) car on fire or dropped it into any ravine on the way from Islamabad," the daily Dawn quoted police official Mohammad Aslam as saying.

"But since they wanted to make Shahzad`s death an example for other journalists, they parked his car by the wayside and threw his body into a wide Upper Jhelum Canal so that someone could see the body and inform police and his family," he added.

The media report said that Shahzad`s kidnappers and killers passed through seven checkpoints and three toll collection points between the capital city and the place where his body was found, but were not flagged down even at one point.

"We found the car by the wayside near Jhelum canal facing Mandi Bahauddin," the official said.

The car was locked and police had to break a glass pane to open it.

"The car was clean from the inside and there was no sign the victim was tortured inside the car."

IANS