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May 31, 2011 Special Dispatch No. 3881

Pakistani Journalist's Report Examines the Presence of Al-Qaeda Cells Within the Pakistan Navy

May 31, 2011
Pakistan | Special Dispatch No. 3881

On May 31, 2011, the body of renowned Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad was found in Sarai Alamgir, 200 kilometers from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. He was allegedly picked up by Pakistani spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) after he wrote a report examining the presence of Al-Qaeda cells within the Pakistan Navy.

The report revealed Al-Qaeda's role in the May 22 attack on PNS Mehran, the headquarters of Pakistan Navy in Karachi. Syed Saleem Shahzad (pictured above) had recently published a book "Inside Al-Qaeda and the Taliban - Beyond Bin Laden and 9/11." He was picked up by suspected members of the ISI at 6:00pm of Sunday, May 29, two days after he wrote the report. Shahzad was Pakistan Bureau Chief of the Hong Kong-based website atimes.com.

According to another report in the Lahore-based Daily Times newspaper, Human Rights Watch (HRW) had learned that Shahzad was in the custody of ISI, HRW's Pakistan representative Ali Dayan Hasan said. Dayan remarked that the ISI remains a major human rights abuser in Pakistan and it frequently abuses and tortures journalists it disagreed with.

A few hours before Shahzad's body was found, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), a non-governmental organization, had expressed "grave concern" at his disappearance. Tony Allison, the Editor of Asia Times Online, expressed his deep concern over the killing, adding: "We will bring the utmost pressure to bear on the authorities over this case. We at Asia Times Online express our deepest sympathies for Saleem's family." ...

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