United against the Judge-General Alliance
We reject the judicial commission’s report on the Saleem Shahzad murder case, which gives a clean chit to Shahzad’s murderers and instead blames the victim.
Shahzad was abducted while driving from his house to a television station in Islamabad on May 29 last year, two days after he alleged in an article that Al Qaeda had infiltrated the Pakistan Navy. His body, bearing marks of severe torture, was found the next day in a canal near Mandi Bahauddin, a district of Punjab province. Rights groups and journalists’ bodies had alleged that he was killed by the ISI, a charge denied by the spy agency.
The commission has blamed the victim (i.e., Saleem Shahzad in particular and the press in general) for violating responsible and ethical conduct of journalism. It has given a clean chit to the chief suspect, i.e. Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (spy agency of Pakistan army) despite numerous pieces of evidence and witnesses which clearly point towards the ISI’s role in Saleem Shahzad’s murder. For example read, Ali Dayan Hasan’s (HRW) statement to Saleem Shahzad Inquiry Commission.
The judicial commission’s report is a clear reminder that, contrary to carefully crafted and propagated urban legend, Pakistan’s judiciary remains subservient to the interests and agendas of Pakistan army, and is not independent at all.
In the light of the report, we urge all journalists (individual journalists and journalists and media organizations) to
show unity to forcefully reject the Commission’s Report, and instead demand reconstitution of the commission not led by ISI-backed judges.
In particular, we urge Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman, Najam Sethi, Sherry Rehman, Ejaz Haider, Nasim Zehra, Omar Waraich, Ayesha Tammy Haq, Mosharraf Zaidi, Cyril Almeida, Farahnaz Ispahani, Mohammed Hanif, Abbas Nasir and other senior journalists to take a clear, bold stance against the Judiciary-General alliance in obfuscating Saleem Shahzad’s murder.
The full text of the report
You can download full report (146-pages PDF) of Saleem Shahzad Commission through the following link:
Justice Saqib Nisar has raped justice from Mukhtaran Mai case to Saleem Shahzad case
The judicial commission comprised of Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Agha Rafiq Ahmed Khan, Chief Justice Federal Shariat Court Javed Iqbal, IG Police Binyamin Khan, and Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) President Pervaiz Shaukat. The commission finalised its report in six months after interviews of 41 individuals.
As pejamistri wrote a few months ago, the commission’s chairman Justice Saqib Nisar lacked both integrity and credibility. Apparently, government (Kayani?) appointed him and CJ endorsed him but he is the same pro-rape, Punjabi Lahori judge who wrote one of the worst judgements in Pakistan’s legal history (Mukhtaran Mai case). CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry has already claimed that the issue could be resolved in four days and the ISI said they have no objection on the commission.
‘Business as usual’ is basically what the judicial commission, formed to investigate slain journalist Saleem Shahzad’s murder case, is saying having spent six months on it but being unable to look at what is staring it in the face. A prominent investigative journalist Saleem Shahzad was abducted last year on May 29 in Islamabad two days after his story on the infiltration of al Qaeda into the Pakistan Navy had been published. On May 31, his tortured dead body was found lying in a canal near Mandi Bahauddin, a district of Punjab. Saleem Shahzad had been working on a story focusing on the Pakistan Army’s alleged ties with militants. He was receiving death threats from the country’s premier spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for his investigation spree as he had confided to his confidants. After his brutal murder, a Judicial Commission was formed, raising hopes that a fair and impartial probe would take place and justice would eventually be served. However, after taking a really long time and wasting precious resources of the national exchequer, it has come up with an inconclusive report, which has no findings at all. It seems that Saleem Shahzad committed self-torture and suicide and later his dead body drove a car to the canal and dumped itself there.
The Judicial Commission has made a mockery of justice. It is crystal clear that the judiciary lacks the courage to question the ISI for its alleged extra-judicial murders and other illegal activities. It is indeed a sad day. Journalists, human rights activists and citizens of Pakistan had high hopes from this Judicial Commission that at last someone would rein in the ISI, which considers itself above the law and that their basic right of freedom of expression as enshrined in the constitution would be protected. Alas! The commission, despite its clear mandate, has failed miserably and disappointed all. Its report is a whitewash. It has given license to the ISI to continue its kill and dump policy against the dissenting voices with impunity across the country. The abduction and killing of daring journalists would continue and their families should expect no justice. What sort of a country are we living in? The security of journalists now seems like a distant dream. According to the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), during the last year, five out of 16 journalists killed in Pakistan were allegedly abducted and murdered by secret agencies. No wonder our country is considered the most dangerous place for journalists in the world. The Judicial Commission on Saleem Shahzad murder case has only left journalists feeling even more insecure. (Source)