Panel on Pak scribe’s killing gets phone record

Saleem Shahzad was kidnapped on May 29 and his body was found in a canal two days later.

Islamabad: A judicial commission probing the abduction and murder of journalist Saleem Shahzad has received his mobile phone record, a media report said on Thursday.

Dawn said that the panel got the unofficial record of Shahzad`s cellphone on Wednesday.

Shahzad, 40, was kidnapped in Islamabad on May 29 and his body, bearing marks of severe torture, was found in a canal in Pakistan`s Punjab province two days later.

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

The commission, after analysing the phone record, asked television anchor Asma Chaudhry and her talk show producer Ismat to record their statements since Shahzad had telephoned Ismat at around 5 pm on May 29.

They have both told the commission that Shahzad said during the call he was leaving his house and would reach their office in time for recording the programme related to the attack on PNS Mehran airbase in Karachi.

"When he did not turn up, we called him at his cellphone at 5.40 pm, but it was switched off. Later, we recorded the programme without Mr Shahzad," Asma was quoted as saying.

The commission has also been told that Shahzad`s body bore 15 marks of torture, but no bullet wounds.


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