WASHINGTON: The United States has strongly condemned the abduction and killing of a Pakistani investigative reporter, who had published an article alleging that al-Qaeda had infiltrated the Pakistan Navy and carried out the recent attack on Karachi’s Mehran Naval Station. “The United States strongly condemns the abduction and killing of reporter Syed Saleem Shahzad,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement.
“His work reporting on terrorism and intelligence issues in Pakistan brought to light the troubles extremism poses to Pakistan”s stability,” she said. Clinton also said that Washington welcomed Pakistan”s launch of an investigation into Shahzad’s killing.
According to sources journalist Saleem Shahzad was laid to rest in the Qayyumabad graveyard of Karachi on Wednesday. Earlier his funeral prayers were offered at Mubarak Mosque in which hundreds of people including family members and friends participated. Journalists and human rights activists have said they believed that Shahzad’s killing was payback not from militants, but from Pakistan’s fearsome spy agencies, The Washington Post reports.
Shahzad’s killing has also renewed attention on the alleged crossover between militants and Pakistan’s security forces, some of which he outlined in his recent article for the Hong Kong-based Asia Times Online, for which he was the Pakistan bureau chief, the report said.
According to Shahzad’s reporting, last week’s attack on a Karachi Naval base was a response to the Pakistani Navy’s detection of al-Qaeda cells within its ranks, and it followed failed discussions between the navy and al-Qaeda about the release of naval officers arrested on suspicions of links to the terrorist group.