Pakistan Times condemn this brutal act of killing of veteran journalist Saleem Shahzad; who was Bureau chief of Asia Times Online and working for Italian news Agency. Who so ever has done should be brought to the justice.
Pakistan is dangerous place for journalists; world has labeled Pakistan as. Question is what makes journalist’s life so priceless that last year twelve journalists in Pakistan were killed and this year six have lost their lives leaving bereaved families and stigmas on face of Pakistan. Journalists who have been raising voice on behalf of everyone in society are so helpless that speaking truth is life threatening matter.
“Bol k Lab azaad hain”(say your heart as your are free to) is perhaps now a cliche that Faiz tried in times of iron curtain. However telling truth and differentiating between what truth to be unearthed and what not to be told; are intertwined. Few journalists in Pakistan have faced music for telling those truths that were unacceptable to several segments in Pakistan. A long list is there to be quoted in this regard, Majam sethi, Khawar Rizvi, Omer Cheema, Himd Meer, Imtiaz Alam etc etc.. few were exiled, few put behind the bars and few were tortured, families of few have been abducted or even they were abducted for sometime but ruthless killing is unacceptable.
Since inception of Pakistan journalists are under attack from not just the terrorists, but candidly security apparatuses in country are engaged in attacking, abducting and torturing them. Although a unique statement from ISI has been made in this regard on Thursday saying “any suggestion that it had a role in Saleem Shahzad’s murder was “baseless… and unfounded”. Despite the fact security agencies are one of the stakeholders in last story he broke; an ISI official said on Wednesday that the incident “should not be used to target and malign the country’s security agency.
Investigative story he wrote that caused his abduction and later his death was about “suspected Al Qaeda sympathizers are among Pakistan Navy’s lower cadres.” He was going to disclosed another stroy about the militant organizations’ having support from Army and Air Force too as media reports say. There is bleak chance of involvement of other stakeholder Al Qaeda who probably never wanted this fact to be disclosed that their pockets were in Pakistani Military”. Moreover Another group arguing his murder a conspiracy spined to create rift between media and State Organs. Another speculation says; he was working for CIA and has been used in wider spectrum. This time we need not to pick one of the theories that suit our taste buds but prudence is the need of hour.
These cases of were not investigated, no one would have been brought to justice in past thus such theories are being coined. Journalists are killed elsewhere in the world too but why Pakistan is a deadly place for journalists not because the number of murdered journalists is increasing every year but because the state refuses to pursue the cases. State either should take responsibility to provide security to its all nationals including journalists as their basic right or investigate the elements behind such incidents to avid future incidents. Else message perceived is very loud “don’t speak or you’ll be silenced”. However attempts made to gag journalists this time will not be successful.