Slain Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad
Pakistan's main intelligence agency, under pressure over the killing of journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad, firmly denied any involvement. Pakistan's News International newspaper reported
that, in a rare statement issued through the state-run media, an unidentified official of the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate said the agency will help "bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice."
The statement said ISI officials had met Shahzad last October to discuss a story the 40-year-old investigative reporters had written that month, the newspaper said. The ISI official, as quoted by the state-run media, denied making any threats to the journalist, whose death he called a "source of concern for the entire nation," The New York Times reported.
Shahzad, who had reported on al-Qaida and militancy in Pakistan, was buried Wednesday in Karachi, in a service that was attended by many, including fellow journalists.Reports have said he was abducted Sunday from Islamabad, where he lived. His body was found in another town, about 100 miles away.
The Voice of America said Shahzad, prior to his death, had told a rights group representative about being threatened by people in the intelligence field, leading to allegations that the ISI was behind his death.
"We will not allow this to happen, we will not let them shut our voices down," fellow journalist Azhar Abbas was quoted as saying, adding: "We may lose more lives because this place has become a very dangerous place for journalists. But our fight will continue …"
VOA quoted Bob Dietz of the Committee to Protect Journalists in New York as showing a long list of journalists killed in Pakistan to its president but saying nothing much has been done.U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has condemned Shahzad's killing, while welcoming the investigation into his death.