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Shahzad murder: Pak commission summons 16 scribes

July 07, 2011 09:03 IST
The Pakistani commission investigating the murder of journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad on Thursday summoned 16 reporters to appear before it on July 9 to record their statements.

Following a meeting of the panel held in the Supreme Court's Lahore Registry, the commission's secretary Taimur Azmat said it had also asked the public to submit any information they may have on the abduction and killing of Shahzad but only two persons had approached the body in this regard.

"Therefore, the commission decided to summon individuals so that their statements could be recorded," he said. Journalists Hamid Mir, Naseem Zahra, Talaat Hussain, Najam Sethi, Umar Cheema and Imtiaz Alam were among those who have been summoned to record their statements, Azmat said.

Azmat, who is also the federal information secretary, said the chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority had informed the commission through a report that the records of two mobile phones being used by Shahzad had been preserved.

The interior ministry and the federal investigation agency had been directed to access Shahzad's email accounts in the commission's presence, he said. The next meeting of the commission will be held in Islamabad on July 9.

Supreme Court Justice Saqib Nisar is the head of the commission and its other members are Federal Shariah Court Chief Justice Agha Rafiq Ahmad, Islamabad Police chef Bin Yamin, Punjab Police chief Javed Iqbal and Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists President Pervaiz Shaukat.

Shahzad was abducted while driving from his house to a TV station in Islamabad on May 29, two days after he alleged in an article that Al Qaeda had infiltrated the Pakistan Navy. His body, bearing marks of torture, was found the next day in a canal in Punjab province.

Journalists' associations and rights groups alleged intelligence agencies were responsible for the killing, a charge denied by the Inter-Services Intelligence. The government formed the commission to ascertain the circumstances of Shahzad's death.

Shahzad had told colleagues about receiving veiled threats from the ISI.





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