Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad was found dead 200 kilometers outside Islamabad on Tuesday, May 30. The Asia Times correspondent had gone missing on Sunday morning, a few days after writing an article suggesting links between some Pakistani navy officials and al Qaeda. The suspicious circumstances and the brutal murder of the 40-year-old father of three left the journalistic community and others in shock.
India Real Time presents a round-up of commentary from leading Indian newspapers on the journalist’s death.
The Times of India in a column observed the “ironical twist in the politics of the Muslim World.” Giving instances of many high profile murders that have taken place in Pakistan recently, the paper said;” As the populations of one Middle Eastern country after the other revolt against authoritarianism in favor of democracy, Pakistan is headed the other way.” The column then suggested that Mr. Shahzad’s murder only adds to the “growing evidence of ISI involvement in 26/11, and Pakistan’s ‘state-within-a-state’ may be as threatening to its own citizens as it is to India and the world.”
The Hindustan Times in an editorial described the killing of the Pakistani journalist as a rude shock for even “Pakistan’s battle hardened journalist community.” The editorial went on to observe the open manner in which the abduction had taken place, showing a lack of fear from the Pakistani authorities. “The same lack of concern for the law was seen in the manner in which the late Punjab governor Salman Taseer was assassinated in broad daylight by his bodyguard with other guards looking on.” It concluded by lauding the courage of Pakistani journalists in the face of such hard times, saying; “Many sections of the Pakistani press have urged their fellow journalists not to be cowed down by the sort of threats Shahzad faced.”
AP Photo/Cristiano Camera, Courtesy of Adnkronos
Syed Salim Shahzad
Amitabh Mattoo, in a separate column in The Hindustan Times, pointed out that Pakistan isn’t the country that its founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah had hoped for. “While we may quibble over Jinnah’s view on religion, there is no doubt that he had hoped that the country would become a modern and moderate Muslim State.” The writer went on to question whether the Pakistani army would decide to “disconnect itself from the jihadis and cleanse itself of radical subversive elements within its ranks or will it preside over Pakistan’s collapse into anarchy?
An editorial in The Indian Express said that Mr. Shahzad’s murder brought renewed attention to the ease with which oppositional voices are silenced in Pakistan. The editorial highlighted the need to redefine political institutions in the country. “Osama bin Laden’s killing and the consequent spotlight are piling up pressure on the security establishment to break out of the old, destructive patterns,” it said .
On Friday, The Hindu in an editorial said, “the killing of Syed Saleem Shahzad is brutal confirmation that Pakistan is the world’s most hazardous place for journalists.” The editorial added; “If the Inter-Services Intelligence is being seen as Suspect No. 1 in this case, it is not without reason” and concluded by suggesting the Pakistani media community insists that an investigation into Mr. Shahzad’s killing starts with the ISI officials who interviewed him in October 2010. “The Pakistani media community must insist on this in order to fix accountability for the journalist’s killing. Else the enquiry ordered by Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani will go the way of other such investigations, and the impunity will continue unchecked.”
Via: India Real Time