Urgent Appeal to Pakistan Government to Find Missing Journalist

The International

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.

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +61 2 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

 

Find the

IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

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