ISI wants media to act with `responsibility`
ISLAMABAD: The unfortunate and tragic death of journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad was a source of concern for the entire nation, but the incident should not be used to target and malign security agencies, an ISI official said on Wednesday on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of his job.
“The reported meeting between the journalist and ISI officials of the Information Management Wing was held on Oct 17, 2010, to discuss a story he had written for Asia Online on Oct 15 and the meeting had nothing sinister about it,” the official said.
“It is part of the Wing`s mandate to remain in touch with the journalist community. The main objective behind all such interactions is provision of accurate information on matters of national security. ISI also makes it a point to notify institutions and individuals alike of any threat warning received about them.”
The ISI official also said: “The reported email of Mr Saleem Shahzad to Mr Ali Hasan Dayan of the Human Rights Watch (HRW) which is being made the basis of baseless allegations levelled against the ISI has no veiled or unveiled threats in it.”
The official pointed out that in the words of Saleem Shahzad himself, “the conversation was held in an extremely polite and friendly atmosphere and there was no mince word in the room at any stage”.
He said it was regrettable that some sections of the media had taken upon themselves to use the incident for targeting and maligning the ISI.
“Baseless accusations against the country`s sensitive agencies for their alleged involvement in Shahzad`s murder are totally unfounded.
In the absence of any evidence and when an investigation is still pending, such allegations tantamount to unprofessional conduct on the part of the media,” he added.
“The ISI offers its deepest and heartfelt condolence to the bereaved family and assures them that it will leave no stone unturned in helping to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice,” the official said. At the same time, he said, the media should act with responsibility to avoid any possible legal course. “It (media) should refrain from baseless allegations against the ISI that seek to deliberately malign the organisation in the eyes of the people of Pakistan.”