Saleem Shahzad murder case: Inquiry commission questions intelligence officers

ISI, IB officials told to submit written replies within ten days.

Rana Tanveer August 17, 2011


Senior intelligence officers were questioned on Tuesday by a judicial commission which is investigating the murder of journalist Saleem Shahzad.

Officers from the Inter-Services Intelligence Agency (ISI) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB) are under
investigation for Shahzad’s mysterious disappearance and death.

“The questioning went on for five hours and the commission has asked them to file written replies within ten days,” the commission’s secretary Taimour Azmat told reporters after the commission’s meeting at the Supreme Court’s Lahore Registry.

When asked whether or not commission was satisfied with the answers submitted by the officers, he said it
was too early to say anything. “The commission will examine their written replies
and form its opinion,” he said.

To a question about who the questioned officers were, he said that they were brigadiers and deputy inspector-generals.

Azmat said that a summary had been moved requesting an extension in the time given to the commission. However, he said, the time period’s lapse will not affect investigations. The commission will now meet on September 5.

The commission is headed by Supreme Court Justice Saqib Nisar while members include Chief Justice of the Federal Shariat Court Agha Rafiq Ahmad, Inspector-General of Islamabad Police Bani Amin, Inspector-General of Punjab Police Javed Iqbal and President of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) Pervaiz Shaukat.

Shahzad, who was the bureau chief of the Hong-Kong-based Asia Times Online, was reported missing from Islamabad on May 30 and within 24 hours, his body was found in Mandi Bahauddin with marks of torture. Intelligence agencies were blamed for the killing.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2011.