Saleem Shahzad murder: Commission concludes proceedings for the day

10 senior journalists yet to appear before commission to record statement.


Express July 18, 2011

ISLAMABAD: The judicial commission inquiring into Saleem Shahzad's murder was provided with CCTV footage from toll plazas along with Shahzad’s telephone record in Monday's proceedings. The commission was adjourned till Tuesday 2pm.

Earlier in the second meeting of the commission, the commission had asked the National Highway Authority for a record of all toll plazas from Islamabad to Mandi Bahauddin, where the body of the journalist was found.

According to Express 24/7 reporter Faisal Shakeel, Hamza, the brother in law of the slain journalist, appeared before the commission along with a journalist called Faizan to record their statement.

At least 10 senior journalists were summoned by the commission to record their statement. Amongst them, Hamid Mir, Najam Sethi, Imtiaz Alam, Matiullah Jan, Nasim Zehra and Tahir Ali to name a few are yet to appear in person before the commission, even though they have already submitted their written statements.

The commission was also presented with 48 items found in Saleem Shahzad's car.

Mandi Bahauddin DPO, DSP and SHO were also summoned before the commission to record their statements.

The commission secretary Taimoor Azmat Usman who has been the spokesperson of sorts for the commission briefed the media on the entire episode saying that the commission is in the ‘thick of things’.

The secretary, replying to a question, on why there were issues in provision of the phone records, said that since the commission has asked the service provider to provide a detailed record of the calls, the process took time.

Earlier, the head of the judicial commission appointed to investigate the death of the journalist Saleem Shahzad said that the ‘lack of cooperation’ from the journalist community is likely to slow down the investigation.

The commission headed by Justice Saquib Nisar is expected to suggest recommendations to resolve the issue.

Saleem Shahzad, Pakistan Bureau Chief of Asia Times Online, was found dead in Mandi Bahauddin, nearly 130 kilometres south east of Islamabad. As a result of a sit-in protest before Parliament on June 5, the government had agreed to form a commission to investigate the murder.

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