Islamabad: Pakistanis on Wednesday reacted with
revulsion and anger to the "silencing" of investigative
journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad, whose body was found days
after he went missing in the wake of authoring a report that
alleged al Qaeda had infiltrated the Pakistan Navy.
Adil Najam, who blogs at pakistaniat.com, called
Shahzad`s death "a warning to the nation".
Comments on social networking and micro-blogging
websites focussed on allegations that Shahzad was abducted by
the Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI).
Mohammed Hanif, the author of `A Case of Exploding
Mangoes`, reflected the public feelings in a message on
Twitter: "Any journalist here who doesn`t believe that it`s
our intelligence agencies?"
Najam wrote on his blog: "Pakistanis have gotten used to
feeling unsafe and afraid. Today they are feeling even more
unsafe and afraid...Afraid and unsafe is exactly how the
butchers who tortured and then murdered Syed Saleem Shahzad
want us to feel."
He added, "The message to Pakistanis and not just
journalists, but all who may dare to `speak up`, was equally
cold and bloody and brutal."
Shahzad, who was the Pakistan bureau chief of Asia
Times Online, went missing on Sunday evening while driving
from his home to a TV station in the heart of Islamabad.
His car and body were subsequently found in Punjab
province. The body had signs of severe torture.
He went missing just two days after reporting that
al Qaeda attacked a naval airbase in Karachi on May 22 after
failed talks with the military to free some naval personnel
arrested for links to the terrorist group.