Press Club of India condemns Saleem Shahzad’s murder
* Club says it believes in free press, supports fellow journalists in Pakistan, working under very challenging circumstances
LAHORE: The Press Club of India and its members mourn the death of Pakistani journalist Saleem Shahzad, said a press release issued on Thursday.
Shahzad’s body was found from a canal in Mandi Bahauddin on May 31, bearing signs of torture, two days after he was kidnapped.
The press release said, “Journalism transcends borders. We believe in freedom of information and expression is a universal fundamental right. We whole-heartedly praise our brave colleagues in Pakistan who are working under the most challenging circumstances. The current situation in Pakistan has left not only its citizens, but all of us dazed.”
“In a situation of chaos and culture of violence, the press usually becomes a favourite target. We believe in combating forces inimical to democracy and freedom of expression and the press should be a priority for all of us,” the press club said.
Shahzad covered a variety of topics throughout his career, including global security issues. His last book, “Inside al Qaeda and the Taliban: Beyond bin Laden and 9/11,” was published shortly before his death.
His work was regularly reproduced in Asia Times Online and Pakistani English dailies including Daily Times, and in Urdu newspapers. His articles were also reproduced in other countries and often quoted in the international press, the Press Club of India said.
“Shahzad is not the first journalist to be killed in Pakistan nor is he likely to be the last. Scores of journalists have been kidnapped and killed in Pakistan over the past few years,” it added.
“In this hour of grief for Shahzad’s family and friends, the Press Club of India lends moral support to their brave colleagues across the border and all over world. We believe that life and freedom are not endowed to us by any book, society or the government, but are fundamental rights. And the light of freedom shall glow, until people like Shahzad remain amongst us, who have the audacity and courage to unveil black forces, the press release said.
“The Press Club of India demands that the Pakistan government should take concrete measures for the security and protection of journalists. Democracy does not thrive where journalists are killed regularly,” it added.
Source: Daily Times