Federation of Journalists (IFJ) urgently appeals to the Government of Pakistan
to order its security and police agencies to respond immediately to find a
senior journalist who disappeared in Islamabad
on May 29.
Syed Saleem Shahzad, the Pakistan bureau chief for Asia Times Online, went missing in the early evening while heading to the office of Dunya TV to record a program.
The IFJ and its affiliate, the
Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), hold grave fears for the welfare
of Shahzad, who published the first of a two-part investigative series into alleged
links between Al-Qaeda and Pakistani naval officials on Asia Times Online on May 27.
“The IFJ is deeply worried for the
safety of Syed Saleem Shahzad,” IFJ Asia-Pacific
Director Jacqueline Park said.
“We appeal as a matter of urgency
for Pakistan’s Government to
do all it can to find Shahzad quickly, and to prove a commitment to reverse Pakistan’s poor
track record in investigating abuses against journalists.”
Dunya staff tried to contact
Shahzad by mobile phone about 5.45pm on May 29 but failed to get a response,
according to Dawn newspaper.
Shahzad, who is also the author of Inside al-Qaeda and the Taliban: Beyond Bin
Laden and 9/11, reported in thearticle that members
of Al-Qaeda conducted the May 22 attack on PNS Mehran naval air station in Karachi.
The article alleges the attack was mainly
in response to an internal clampdown on Al-Qaeda affiliates within the Pakistan
navy, following failed talks between the navy and Al-Qaeda over the release of
naval officials arrested on suspicion of links to the militant group.
The IFJ and the PFUJ demand that Pakistan’s
Government and security agencies respond urgently to investigate the
circumstances around Shahzad’s disappearance, including any link to the article
published on May 27, before the trail goes cold.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +61 2 9333 0919
represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries
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