Saleem Shahzad's murder: Government forms commission headed by SC judge -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Saleem Shahzad’s murder: Government forms commission headed by SC judge

* Justice Saqib Nisar to head commission
* Will fix responsibility for killing and suggest ways to avert such incidents in future

By Raja Riaz

ISLAMABAD: The federal government at last bowed to the journalists’ pressure who were on a sit-in at the Parliament House and agreed to set up a judicial commission headed by a judge of Supreme Court (SC) to probe the killing of Saleem Shehzad.

Announcing the formation of the commission, Federal Information Minister Firdaus Ashiq Awan said that the government had accepted the demand of journalists regarding the formation of a commission. The commission would be headed by Supreme Court’s Justice Saqib Nisar while the Federal Shariat Court Chief Justice Agha Rafiq, additional IG (Investigation) Punjab, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists President Pervaiz Shaukat and Federal Police DIG (Investigation) will be its members.

The commission has been assigned the task of investigating the kidnapping and death of Saleem Shehzad and the motive behind it. The commission will also fix the responsibility and suggest the ways to avert such incidents in the future. It will complete its report in six weeks and has been given powers to summon anyone directly or indirectly. The demand was met early on Thursday as the journalists gathered from all parts of the country for the sit-in in front of the Parliament House. They also boycotted the National Assembly and Senate sessions on Wednesday. The government was reluctant to form the commission headed by a Supreme Court judge and announced a body under the headship of FSC Chief Justice Agha Rafique, but that was rejected by the journalists’ supreme body — PFUJ — that went on protest to press its demand.

On Wednesday, Information Minister Firdaus Ashiq Awan briefed the cabinet on the issue. She told her colleagues that some other forces wanted to bash the sensitive agencies and were using journalists as a cover. Pakistan People’s Party women leaders Farah Naz Asfahani and Nafeesa Shah played an important role in formation of the commission.

Source: Daily Times

Date:6/17/2011