Murdered Pakistani Journalist Had Claimed ISI Threat

Colleague: 'It Had to Be the ISI'

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned Shahzad's killing late Tuesday night after Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari ordered an immediate inquiry into the death.

"[Shahzad's] work reporting on terrorism and intelligence issues in Pakistan brought to light the troubles extremism poses to Pakistan's stability," Clinton said in a statement. "We support the Pakistani government's investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death."

However, in a pair of biting editorials, Shahzad's colleagues at Asia Times Online criticized the government for its investigations into the deaths of journalists in Pakistan.

"These are honorable and noble sentiments that will resonate around the world," one editorial said of Zardari's promise of inquiry. "The trouble is, like an echo, the words will quickly fade, and most likely nothing will be done... It will be business as usual in a country that had the most journalist deaths in the world in 2010 - 44 - and four prominent newsmen killed this year for simply doing their job. None of their killers has been brought to justice. Not one."

Pakistan ranks among the top ten most dangerous countries for journalists according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. The CPJ estimates 20 percent of the murders of journalists are attributable to "government officials."

After his visit to Shahzad's home, Interior Minister Malik said orders had been given that journalists should carry small arms in order to protect themselves, Pakistan's Geo News reported.

In another sarcasm-laced editorial, another of Shahzad's colleagues and "brother" directly accuses the ISI of being behind Shahzad's disappearance and death.

"After all, when a Pakistani journalist -- not a foreigner -- writes that al-Qaeda is infiltrated deep inside the Pakistani military establishment, one's got to act with utmost courage. So you abduct the journalist. You torture him. And you snuff him," writes Pepe Escobar. "Now they finally got him. Not an al Qaeda or jihadi connection. Not a tribal or Taliban connection... It had to be the ISI -- as he knew, and told us, all along."

Malik told reporters that should any evidence emerge connecting the ISI to Shahzad's death, he would investigate.

Shahzad was buried in his hometown of Karachi today as hundreds of friends, relatives and colleagues mourned, according to an AP report.

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