Feature

Pakistan: Military connections to al Qaida

A Pakistani reporter was beaten to death after revealing ties between the Pakistani navy and al Qaida, said Amir Mir in Asia Times Online.

Amir MirAsia Times Online (Hong Kong)

A Pakistani reporter was beaten to death after revealing ties between the Pakistani navy and al Qaida, said Amir Mir. The mutilated body of Syed Saleem Shahzad, the 40-year-old Pakistan bureau chief of Asia Times Online, was found last week. He had disappeared just two days after publishing an article saying that the navy was negotiating with al Qaida over the release of several navy personnel incarcerated for links to the terror group, and that “the audacious attack” by al Qaida on a naval base in Karachi last month was a result of a breakdown in that negotiation. Obviously, revealing “the militant-military nexus” cost him his life. But who killed him?

Many Pakistani activists and journalists believe the ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence service, tortured Shahzad to get him to reveal his source for the article. In this school of thought, the death was an accident, because the ISI agents would have been unaware that Shahzad had an old bullet wound that could rupture his heart during a beating. A few believe that Islamic militants killed him, figuring the death would be blamed on the ISI. “Whoever is responsible for Shahzad’s barbaric murder, one thing is for sure—he will not be the last journalist to have sacrificed his life for uncovering the truth.”

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