HRW report on ISI hindrance in Saleem Shahzad investigation biased: ISPR

Published: February 16, 2012
Statement issued by ISPR says Human Rights Watch report saying ISI marred investigation process is biased. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Statement issued by ISPR says Human Rights Watch report saying ISI marred investigation process is biased. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) hit back hard on Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Thursday for its news release claiming that the intelligence agency hindered the investigation process of journalist Saleem Shahzad murder.

In a strong-worded statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relation (ISPR), its spokesperson said that the HRW report titled “Shahzad commission results marred by free ride for ISI” published on January 30 this year was “found to be extremely derogatory, biased and contradictory in terms”.

The ISPR statement held Brad Adams, HRW Asia Director, to be having his “head buried deep in sand” and alleged that his “thought process and ability to logically analyze a given situation suffers from serious bias”.

The ISPR also applauded the Supreme Court and the chief justice of Pakistan for their services and claimed that the HRW report has not only “demonized” the intelligence agency, but was also “out of character of the Honourable Court”.

It added that the ISI, as well as the other intelligence agencies, have provided the judicial commission probing the case with “unprecedented obedience/compliance”.

In the statement, the ISI categorically denied the allegations and the spokesperson said the HRW report was “a well orchestrated and sinister media campaign, in which, HRW and the likes of Brad Adams and Ali Dayan Hassan may have been unwittingly drawn into”.

“It raises serious questions on the partisan nature of HRW and Brad Adam’s objectivity.”

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (46)

  • Feb 16, 2012 - 4:50PM

    But, HRW’s reports on Kashmir are not biased, right? Only when its about ISI’s murderous activities it is biased..


  • Usman
    Feb 16, 2012 - 4:54PM

    Love it! Good going ISPR. HRW is a biased institute with poitical motivesRecommend

  • Feb 16, 2012 - 4:55PM

    HRW Making allegations without any proof. When we hear allegations that sept 11 was an inside job its a conspiracy theory. But their conspiracy theories get reported as fact. I dont know if any of you remember but Dr Kelly (inspector in iraq for wmd) died in the UK in mysterious circumstances I remember English papers saying oh it was an innocent suicide. Their double standards and hypocrisy knows no bounds.


  • hammad
    Feb 16, 2012 - 5:03PM

    Biased towards reality.


  • Uzair J
    Feb 16, 2012 - 5:04PM

    Shehzad was executed with precise planning by the CIA as Shehzad allegedly unveiled sleeper cells which the Pakistan defence analysts say were developed by CIA to penetrate into the Pakistan forces. Hillary clinton wouldn’t have ever came up so early on TV for condolences as it suited their interest to malign ISI furthermore. Everyone in Pakistan knows how much liberty US diplomats (spies) enjoy throughout the country. Who knows the threats Shehzad had been receiving were from ISI, why couldn’t it be from CIA operatives in the country??


  • Feb 16, 2012 - 5:17PM

    I remember Mullen and Hillary showing concern for low profile reporter, It is conspiracy against Highly Esteemed Institutions


  • Roflcopter
    Feb 16, 2012 - 5:20PM

    Excellent reply by ISPR. HRW is having a hard time accepting the fact that ISI was not involved. It seems HRW wants to somehow implicate ISI rather then truely wanting to know the actual culprits of Saleem Shehzads murder.


  • Ahmed
    Feb 16, 2012 - 5:31PM

    @Uzair J: If you have got little faith in BBC then read these reports…

    And if you don’t trust BBC then you better live in cavesRecommend

  • Ahmad
    Feb 16, 2012 - 5:31PM

    Who in pakistan has the ability to erase cell phone records? Only the intelligence agencies. Thats a fact. In the slightly altered words of Stephen Colbert, “Reality has a well known anti-ISI bias.”


  • yusufzai
    Feb 16, 2012 - 5:39PM

    Rubbish.just rubish.Recent case of 11 missing persons should be an eye opener for you.Army and ISI wallas are not thhat much holy.They have been doing these things for years but times are changing now .it will be difficult for them to get away now


  • Roflcopter
    Feb 16, 2012 - 5:40PM

    @Ahmed, cell phone records were not erased. It was false info Recommend

  • DILU
    Feb 16, 2012 - 6:01PM

    Media war is on against Pak army.


  • Abbas
    Feb 16, 2012 - 6:08PM

    I think we shall not take the HRW report negatively. It would be complete denial which doesn’t help at all. In a country where missing person list is getting longer and longer and where the Supreme Court is helpless in providing justice to kins of missing persons. I absolutely ginf nothing wrong with the HRW report. May be as a Nation we have to realise that things are in disorder at out home which need to be fixed. There are 192 countries in the world. On world level who is more cridible us or HRW?


  • Abbas
    Feb 16, 2012 - 6:16PM

    @ DILU.So you mean that all these missing persons committed suicide or in Balocishtan there is CIA killing people and putting the blame on ISI and MI or there is absolute civilian control over the Military establishment and because of the biased western media. I can only say that this the most advance stage of denial. Just remember East pakistan. Same thing was said biased western media, no human rights violations …………………and then what happened !


  • faraz
    Feb 16, 2012 - 6:33PM

    There are thousands of cases of missing people and unexplained killings. No one is faultless, especially the agencies who operate secretively and without civilian or judicial supervision


  • Ishrat Salim
    Feb 16, 2012 - 6:35PM

    Reply to Ahmed..I will atleast not bet on BBC..? they are most biased…& you seem pretty in favor of BBC & America…are they always right ?…they hv shown their real face while supporting Israel & not condeming their biased actions against Palestine.HRW too is an accomplice to Israel illegal actions…their reports & actions are contradictory as far as Israel is concerned…& the whole world is aware of it.What HRW done against drone attacks in Pakistan ?Recommend

  • Z Ali
    Feb 16, 2012 - 6:45PM

    In the case of Saleem Shehzad, sadly it is neither a media war against the army nor a conspiracy to malign the ISI. The fact of the matter is that Shehzad was abducted in BROAD DAYLIGHT in the middle of Islamabad, tortured and killed. All evidence points to the ISI, and their loud denials are pretty hollow. One of the commentators said it was the CIA.. well, why would the CIA kidnap the guy and take him 130 miles away, torture him before killing him? If they wanted him dead, they would simply have killed him there and then. This is definitely a case of the ISI roughing up a journalist and letting it go too far. Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Feb 16, 2012 - 7:28PM

    It says”ISPR categorically denied the allegations and …………..”

    Reminds agin of what a reader had commented earlier in ET:



  • DevilHunterX
    Feb 16, 2012 - 7:34PM

    Seems the holy cow isn’t so holy after all.


  • DB
    Feb 16, 2012 - 8:45PM

    This is same Ali Dayan Hassan who was invited by anti-Pakistan US congressman. He is also submitting biased information to HRW. His agenda is very clear.

    The fact is that when we have an established JSOC/CIA network in Pakistan means that their involvement cannot be ruled out. Remember the CIA has used anti-polio campaigns for its agenda, so it can easily do the same through other methods.


  • farhan
    Feb 16, 2012 - 9:20PM

    The Corporate Media and Ngos,HRW has influence of CIA.So HRW will always speak in favor of CIA and America.It is an agenda of CIA to degrade and demoralize Pakistan’s institution. Shame to those secular Media speakers who are speaking against Pakistan Army and ISI. Pakistan army is the best institution who is working for best interests of Pakistan.
    The behavior of HRW
    The HRW’s was sleepy when Raymond Davis was murdering the innocents of Pakistan.
    HRW is silent when drones kill innocents in many countries.
    HRW is dead when we talk about ill Arfa Siddique.and many more in Guantanamo jail.
    HRW is dead when we talk about killing of innocents in Kashmir
    HRW only know how to implement the policies of CIA.
    HRW has o a mission to degrade those institution who are saving Pakistan.
    We are proud of our Pak Army


  • gp65
    Feb 16, 2012 - 9:32PM

    @faraz: “There are thousands of cases of missing people and unexplained killings. No one is faultless, especially the agencies who operate secretively and without civilian or judicial supervision”

    Good opint Faraz. Army is supposed to protect the country’s integrity but army excesses led to Bangladesh in 1971 and if these activities are unchecked could also lead to a separate Balochistan. People need to open their eyes and not be so swayed by the establishment media’s propaganda.


  • ahmadhassankhawaja
    Feb 16, 2012 - 9:59PM

    this is western media war against pakistani I.S.I nothing else.why HRW is mum on killings by indian army in disputed kashmir?why is HRW mum on killings by isreali defence forces in WEST BANK and GAZA?are human rights not being violated in those two places?but HRW will not talk about that.


  • Basit Khan
    Feb 16, 2012 - 10:08PM

    Roflcopter, ‘It seems HRW wants to somehow implicate ISI rather then truely wanting to know the actual culprits of Saleem Shehzads murder’, pray tell, so who were the Actual Cuprits that the report identified, which the HRW don’t want to know, Sir ?


  • well-wisher
    Feb 16, 2012 - 10:30PM

    ISPR’s denial and using strong words against a well respected HRW director will not go well in the international community but would further tarnish the image of the country which is as such reeling after OBL presence in Pakistan, abductions and killings in Balochistan and failure of security forces in protecting minorities and civilians lives from militants and support to their certain organisations by the state. ISPR should have avoided making a statement against a civilian organisation and could have asked the civilian govt to do this dirty work for them since the same tantamounts to functioning of state within a state as alleged by it.


  • Abbas
    Feb 16, 2012 - 10:36PM

    Khawaja Sahab, HRW is not silent over human rights violations in Kashmir. Our government used to quoate HRW in international forums until we abandoned Kashmir a few years ago


  • Sandip
    Feb 16, 2012 - 11:29PM

    Looks like the ISI and its cohorts think they can fool all the people all the time. While it might work out sometimes with the Pakistani people, and which is understandable, given the nationalistic fervor that can be whipped up on such issues, it certainly is not going to cut much ice with the international community anymore. The sell by value of these tricks is long past and will progressively bring diminishing value. However, by the looks of it, doesn’t look like there are many people in the head quarters that are able to comprehend this simple fact.


  • Roflcopter
    Feb 16, 2012 - 11:40PM

    @Basit Khan, no culprits were identified so HRW should shut up about ISI :)


  • Feb 16, 2012 - 11:49PM

    Human Rights organizations only go after small preysRecommend

  • Umer
    Feb 17, 2012 - 12:01AM


    no culprits were identified so HRW
    should shut up about ISI :)

    Of course no culprits were ‘identified’ as the culprit is too strong for azad adliyya to handle. Speaks for itself.


  • Feb 17, 2012 - 12:19AM

    it became the fashion to blame always the intelligent agency ISI. Countrymen should know without ISI and army, Pakistan will not stand an hour.


  • ishaq
    Feb 17, 2012 - 12:20AM

    Look Who is Talking Now


  • Qaiser
    Feb 17, 2012 - 12:29AM

    The military has been involved in systematic torture and killing of Baluch Jawan’s. They helped and schemed the abduction of Dr Afia Siddiqi from Pakistani soil during military rule. They were behind the creation of different political forces that are deeply rooted in Pakistan now and I don’t need to tell you about where the election results are “processed” in pakistan.


  • Wasil Arian
    Feb 17, 2012 - 1:14AM

    It is a rude attempt to cover up a gross misdeed perpetrated by ISI goons. The intensity of protestation using crude and unbecoming language confirms the truthfulness of the report. They must be extracted from the mud of denial, in which they have been mired very deeply till now.


  • sulema
    Feb 17, 2012 - 2:24AM

    Biased only when it comes to ISI? Awww wake up and smell the coffee! The whole world knows what the ISI is up to and what it is capable of? The ISI is the one that has conducted hate media campaigns to fool and murder people…


  • Umer
    Feb 17, 2012 - 3:20AM


    it became the fashion to blame always
    the intelligent agency ISI.

    Actually the real fashion is never to hold ISI accountable to anything. Once this fashion goes away there would be no problem.


  • Ahmad
    Feb 17, 2012 - 4:14AM

    Countrymen should know without ISI and army, Pakistan will not stand an hour.

    It’s ironic that you say this because its precisely these two entities that have brought us to the present pass to begin with. Abolish them now, we will be much better off. As an example, an army’s primary responsibility is to protect national borders. Pakistan’s army has started all four wars with India, and lost every one of them, partitioning the country into half in the process, and themselves introduced threats inside the borders of what was left during Zia’s time when we were fighting the godless commies.
    Its also unfortunate that the tribune has published roflcopter’s comment about how the missing telephone record was a false story, which is a complete lie, but did not see fit to publish my response to that incorrect statement.


  • Uza Syed
    Feb 17, 2012 - 4:28AM


    How do you put together Baloch Jawans and American terrorist Afia Siddiqi , it is beyond me.


  • Roflcopter
    Feb 17, 2012 - 4:44AM

    @Umer, cool conspiracy theory bro.


  • MarkH
    Feb 17, 2012 - 6:14AM

    The country should try to make some of these denials somewhat believable. Something like… Charging and convicting one or two ISI agents. They’re not clean, they have done numerous things others would be punished for throughout their existence. That is a complete certainty. Just pick something. It doesn’t matter which one in is. But, that won’t happen. The fact they’re dirty and the refusal to do anything about them solidifies they’re free to do whatever they want. It’s not even debatable. That’s why their denials don’t get believed. The same type of “we didn’t do it” announcement has to have been used in the past while it was a blatant lie.
    Maybe reporters should start asking “What have you actually done?” during one of those statements.


  • Umer
    Feb 17, 2012 - 8:28AM


    Countrymen should know without ISI and
    army, Pakistan will not stand an hour

    How so? No one has ever attacked us from outside, always it has been the army which attacked first and then got defeated. Army and ISI are liabilities for most part. I can’t recall a single incident where army and ISI thwart a genuine attack from outside.


  • Still Listening
    Feb 17, 2012 - 9:31AM

    I am waiting once HRW will publish a report of the innocent children and women killed in the Drone attacks. Also the legality of using such a weapon on civil population.


  • vasan
    Feb 17, 2012 - 10:04AM

    If u sum up all the “Recommend”s of all comments, and classify them as the ones accusing ISI and the ones absolving ISI, the verdict is clear, ISI is guilty. Another solid outside evidence is the condition of the prisoners produced before the supreme court and the prisoners who died as well.


    “Countrymen should know without ISI and
    army, Pakistan will not stand an hour”

    I would think that Pakistan, without Army and ISI, will be a jolly good land of peace and tranquility under a democratic govt practicing multivarious strands of Islam, minting money using all the transit routes connecting Iran, Central asian states with Arabian sea and India.
    That is the conclusion one arrives at by studying all the misfired adventures of Pak Army and ISI.


  • Feb 17, 2012 - 6:06PM

    Why not ask India to experiment first by doing away with RAW and it’s huge budgeted and equipped army ?…If they succeed to survive for a reasonable time frame,without any of their regional neighbors armed forces, deciding to take a stroll into Delhi…Then,Pakistan can surely follow the precedent set by them…Till such time the aforesaid happens,juveniles suggesting abolition of an army for any nation,globally.

    As for these HRW,I wonder why they have been asleep on the gross human rights violations being committed on the hapless innocent citizen men,women and children Kashmiris,by the Indian security forces,stationed in Kashmir and reported to be having in a strength of 700,000-800,000 troops.Recommend

  • Feb 17, 2012 - 8:04PM

    About time the naivety is shelved and one starts to realize the reality…Just question yourself that “How difficult would it be for a super power, known to be having an agenda to demonize Pakistan,as a safe haven for terrorist and targeting it’s premier intelligence agency ISI for various gainful reasons meeting their nefarious designs,to manipulate and influence such organizations, to carry out their dirty propaganda ?”…


  • waseem
    Feb 17, 2012 - 9:39PM

    @Pakistan politics:
    Before passing any comments, read his article in La Stampa (Italy), Lemond Diplomate (France), AKI, Asia Times Online (Hongh Kong).

    Read coment about Shahzad in New York Times, Washington Post, London Post, Heraald (UK)


More in Pakistan