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Pak govt may have sanctioned scribe's murder: US official

July 08, 2011 02:12 IST

The abduction and the subsequent murder of noted Pakistani journalist, Syed Saleem Shahzad might have been approved by the Pakistan government, a top United States military leader said on Friday.

"It's been reported recently and I haven't seen anything that would disabuse that report," Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chief of Staff, told reporters in response to a question during a luncheon with the Pentagon Press Association.

At the same time, the top Pentagon official noted that he hasn't seen any concrete evidence in this regard either of the Pakistan government or that of the Inter Services Intelligence, as reported by The New York Times recently.    

"I haven't seen anything that confirms that ISI was responsible for the killing of the Pakistani  journalist," Mullen said in response to a question about the recently published New York Times report in this regard.

However, Mullen said he has not seen any evidence of ISI's involvement in it.

"I am hugely concerned about obviously his death. His isn't the first. For, whatever reason it has been used as a method historically. There are others certainly claims historically. I have seen Pakistani officials -- I just gave them a room -- who deny it," he said.

"Certainly from my perspective, it's something we all need to pay our attention to including the Pakistanis. It's not a way to move ahead. It's a way to continue to quite frankly spiral in the wrong direction," Mullen said.
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